Published online Oct 16, 2011. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v3.i10.183
Revised: July 15, 2011
Accepted: August 30, 2011
Published online: October 16, 2011
Currently, in gastrointestinal endoscopy there is increasing interest in high resolution endoscopic technologies that can complement high-definition white light endoscopy by providing real-time subcellular imaging of the epithelial surface. These ‘optical biopsy’ technologies offer the potential to improve diagnostic accuracy and yield, while facilitating real-time decision-making. Although many endoscopic techniques have preliminarily shown high accuracy rates, these technologies are still evolving. This review will provide an overview of the most promising high-resolution imaging technologies, including high resolution microendoscopy, optical coherence tomography, endocytoscopy and confocal laser endoscopy. This review will also discuss the application and current limitations of these technologies for the early detection of neoplasia in Barrett’s esophagus, ulcerative colitis and colorectal cancer.