In vivo endoscopic optical coherence tomography of esophagitis, Barrett's esophagus, and adenocarcinoma of the esophagus

Endoscopy. 2000 Oct;32(10):750-5. doi: 10.1055/s-2000-7705.


Background and study aims: We studied the feasibility of endoscopic optical coherence tomography imaging in esophageal disorders, including Barrett's esophagus and Barrett-related adenocarcinoma. Optical coherence tomography is a high-resolution cross-sectional imaging technique with a resolution of almost 10 microm.

Patients and methods: The mucosal architecture of reflux esophagitis (n = 9) and Barrett's esophagus (n = 9) including Barrett-related esophageal cancer (n = 6) was studied by optical coherence tomography imaging.

Results: In different stages of reflux esophagitis edema, fibrinoid deposits, or loss of the epithelial layer were observed. Optical coherence tomography images of Barrett's esophagus substantially differed from normal esophagus, reflux esophagitis, and esophageal carcinoma. A stratified structure of the mucosa was still preserved in Barrett's esophagus. However, images of Barrett-related cancer lacked the regular structure of the esophagus.

Conclusions: The high consistency of the first optical coherence tomography findings, the resolution of up to 10 microm, and the distinct pattern of normal, inflammatory, premalignant and malignant tissues make optical coherence tomography a promising method for endoscopically obtained optical biopsy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Barrett Esophagus / pathology*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Esophagitis / pathology*
  • Esophagoscopy / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Tomography