Functional imaging and endoscopy

World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Oct 14;17(38):4277-82. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i38.4277.


The emergence of endoscopy for the diagnosis of gastrointestinal diseases and the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases has brought great changes. The mere observation of anatomy with the imaging mode using modern endoscopy has played a significant role in this regard. However, increasing numbers of endoscopies have exposed additional deficiencies and defects such as anatomically similar diseases. Endoscopy can be used to examine lesions that are difficult to identify and diagnose. Early disease detection requires that substantive changes in biological function should be observed, but in the absence of marked morphological changes, endoscopic detection and diagnosis are difficult. Disease detection requires not only anatomic but also functional imaging to achieve a comprehensive interpretation and understanding. Therefore, we must ask if endoscopic examination can be integrated with both anatomic imaging and functional imaging. In recent years, as molecular biology and medical imaging technology have further developed, more functional imaging methods have emerged. This paper is a review of the literature related to endoscopic optical imaging methods in the hopes of initiating integration of functional imaging and anatomical imaging to yield a new and more effective type of endoscopy.

Keywords: Cerenkov luminescence tomography; Endoscopy; Fluorescence molecular imaging; Functional imaging; Multi-modal imaging; Optical coherence tomography; Photoacoustic tomography.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal / methods*
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Imaging / methods
  • Photoacoustic Techniques / methods
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods


  • Fluorescent Dyes