Endoscopic imaging is a rapidly progressing field and benefits from miniaturization of advanced imaging technologies, which may allow accurate real-time characterization of lesions. The concept of the “optical biopsy” to predict polyp histology has gained prominence in recent years and may become clinically applicable with the advent of new imaging technology. This review aims to discuss current evidence and examine the emerging technologies as applied to the optical diagnosis of colorectal polyps.
A structured literature search and review has been carried out of the evidence for diagnostic accuracy of image-enhanced endoscopy and emerging endoscopic imaging technologies. The image-enhanced endoscopy techniques are reviewed, including their basic scientific principles and current evidence for effectiveness. These include the established image-enhancement technologies such as narrow-band imaging, i-scan, and Fuji intelligent chromoendoscopy. More recent technologies including optical enhancement, blue laser imaging, and linked color imaging are discussed. Adjunctive imaging techniques in current clinical use are discussed, such as autofluorescence imaging and endocytoscopy. The emerging advanced imaging techniques are reviewed, including confocal laser endomicroscopy, optical coherence tomography, and Raman spectroscopy.
Large studies of the established image-enhancement techniques show some role for the optical diagnosis of polyp histology, although results have been mixed, and at present only the technique of narrow-band imaging is appropriate for the diagnosis of low-risk polyps when used by an expert operator. Other image-enhancement techniques will require further study to validate their accuracy but show potential to support the use of a “resect-and-discard” approach to low-risk polyps. New technologies show exciting potential for real-time diagnosis, but further clinical studies in humans have yet to be performed.
Imperial College London, London, UK
The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.
Address correspondence to: Ben Glover, BM, BSc, MRCP, St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare Trust, London, UK W2 1NY (e-mail: email@example.com).
Received August 29, 2018
Accepted April 1, 2019