Modern strategies for the treatment of ulcerative colitis require more accurate tools for gastrointestinal imaging to better assess mucosal disease activity and long-term prognostic clinical outcomes. Recent advances in gastrointestinal luminal endoscopy are radically changing the role of endoscopy in every-day clinical practice and research trials. Advanced endoscopic imaging techniques including high-definition endoscopes, optical magnification endoscopy, and various chromoendoscopy techniques have remarkably improved endoscopic assessment of ulcerative colitis. More recently, optical biopsy techniques with either endocytoscopy or confocal laser endomicroscopy have shown great potential in predicting several histological changes in real time during ongoing endoscopy. Here, we review current applications of advanced endoscopic imaging techniques in ulcerative colitis and present the most promising upcoming headways in this field.
Keywords: advanced endoscopic imaging; chromoendoscopy; colitis-associated cancer; colonoscopy; ulcerative colitis.