Application of confocal laser endomicroscopy in the diagnosis and management of Barrett's esophagus

Authors Cadman L. Leggett, Emmanuel C. Gorospe.


Confocal laser endomicroscopy is an advanced endoscopic imaging modality that can be used for the diagnosis of early mucosal dysplasia in various gastrointestinal conditions. It provides histology-like images at 1000-fold magnification. The technology offers potential advantages in the diagnosis of Barrett's esophagus and early esophageal cancer due to the low yield of the current practice of surveillance endoscopy with biopsies. Confocal laser endomicroscopy has the potential to eliminate the need for biopsy, establish diagnosis and facilitate application of endoscopic therapy during the time of actual endoscopy. There are several studies that have demonstrated reasonable diagnostic accuracy in patients undergoing surveillance for Barrett's esophagus from tertiary academic medical centers. However, the application of confocal laser endomicroscopy in routine clinical endoscopy is still in the process of refinement. Its role in the diagnosis and treatment of Barrett's-associated dysplasia will continue to evolve with improvement in technology, criteria for diagnosis and experience among endoscopists in interpreting confocal imaging.

Keywords Confocal laser endomicroscopy, confocal endomicroscopy, Barrett's esophagus, esophageal cancer, mucosal dysplasia, fluorescein, 2-NBDG

Ann Gastroenterol 2014; 27 (3): 193-199

Invited Review