Lugol's iodine dye-enhanced endoscopy in patients with cancer of the oesophagus and head and neck

E. M. Chisholm, S. R. Williams, Joseph Leung, S. C S Chung, C. A. Van Hasselt, A. K C Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Lugol's iodine dye indicates the presence of unsuspected early oesophageal cancers during endoscopy at which such cancers fail to show the characteristic black colour change. We evaluated Lugol's iodine dye-enhanced endoscopy in 17 patients with oesophageal cancer. In a further 37 patients with head and neck cancer we examined the use of Lugol's iodine since these patients have a 29% risk of synchronous oesophageal cancer. The oesophagus was sprayed with Lugol's iodine (1.5%) during endoscopy. Any areas not turning black were biopsied. In 13 patients with oesophageal cancer discrete areas beyond the macroscopically obvious primary tumour showed no change in colour. Biopsy revealed cancer in all cases. Six synchronous cancers were found in the head and neck group one of which was identified only by the use of Lugo's iodine. Lugol's iodine augmented the information gained about the oesophageal mucosa during endoscopy. It revealed unsuspected cancer which altered the management of patients with primary oesophageal cancer as well as those with head and neck cancer. We recommend the routine use of Lugol's iodine-enhanced endoscopy for surveillance of all 'at risk' oesophageal cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)550-552
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Endoscopy
  • In-vivo staining
  • Lugol's iodine
  • Oesophagus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Surgery


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