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World J Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Oct 16, 2011; 3(10): 183-194
Published online Oct 16, 2011. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v3.i10.183
Endoscopic imaging: How far are we from real-time histology?
Richa Shukla, Wasif M Abidi, Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Sharmila Anandasabapathy
Richa Shukla, Wasif M Abidi, Sharmila Anandasabapathy, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, United States
Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Department of Bioengineering, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, United States
Sharmila Anandasabapathy, Division of Gastroenterology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, United States
Author contributions: Shukla R participated in the overall organization and writing of this manuscript; Abidi WM participated in the writing of this manuscript; Richards-Kortum R participated in determining the content and organization of this manuscript and the writing of the microendoscopy section; Anandasabapathy S provided the overall outline, determination of content and contributed to the writing of this manuscript.
Correspondence to: Sharmila Anandasabapathy, MD, Division of Gastroenterology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, United States.
Telephone: +1-212-2417535 Fax: +1-212-2412276
Received: December 28, 2010
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.

Keywords: Microendoscopy, Confocal laser endoscopy, Endocytoscopy, High-resolution, Optical coherence tomography, Barrett’s esophagus, Ulcerative colitis, Colon cancer