Optical coherence tomography to identify intramucosal carcinoma and high-grade dysplasia in Barrett's esophagus

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Jan;4(1):38-43. doi: 10.1053/S1542-3565(05)00746-9.


Background & aims: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an optical technique that produces high-resolution images of the esophagus during endoscopy. OCT can distinguish specialized intestinal metaplasia (SIM) from squamous mucosa, but image criteria for differentiating intramucosal carcinoma (IMC) and high-grade dysplasia (HGD) from low-grade dysplasia (LGD), indeterminate-grade dysplasia (IGD), and SIM without dysplasia have not been validated. The purpose of this study was to establish OCT image characteristics of IMC and HGD in Barrett's esophagus.

Methods: Biopsy-correlated OCT images were acquired from patients with Barrett's esophagus undergoing endoscopic surveillance. Two pathologists rendered consensus diagnoses of the biopsy specimens. A blinded investigator reviewed the biopsy-correlated OCT images and scored each for surface maturation and gland architecture. For each image the scores were summed to determine an OCT "dysplasia index."

Results: A total of 177 biopsy-correlated images were analyzed. The corresponding histopathology diagnosis was IMC/HGD in 49 cases, LGD in 15, IGD in 8, SIM in 100, and gastric mucosa in 5. A significant relationship was found between a histopathologic diagnosis of IMC/HGD and scores for each image feature (dysplasia index [Spearman correlation coefficient, r = 0.50, P < .0001], surface maturation [r = 0.48, P < .0001], and gland architecture [r = 0.41, P < .0001]). When a dysplasia index threshold of >or=2 was used, the sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing IMC/HGD were 83% and 75%, respectively.

Conclusions: An OCT image scoring system based on histopathologic characteristics has the potential to identify IMC and HGD in Barrett's esophagus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Barrett Esophagus / complications
  • Barrett Esophagus / pathology*
  • Biopsy
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Precancerous Conditions / diagnosis
  • Precancerous Conditions / etiology
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*