Light and sound - emerging imaging techniques for inflammatory bowel disease

World J Gastroenterol. 2016 Jul 7;22(25):5642-54. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i25.5642.


Patients with inflammatory bowel disease are known to have a high demand of recurrent evaluation for therapy and disease activity. Further, the risk of developing cancer during the disease progression is increasing from year to year. New, mostly non-radiant, quick to perform and quantitative methods are challenging, conventional endoscopy with biopsy as gold standard. Especially, new physical imaging approaches utilizing light and sound waves have facilitated the development of advanced functional and molecular modalities. Besides these advantages they hold the promise to predict personalized therapeutic responses and to spare frequent invasive procedures. Within this article we highlight their potential for initial diagnosis, assessment of disease activity and surveillance of cancer development in established techniques and recent advances such as wide-view full-spectrum endoscopy, chromoendoscopy, autofluorescence endoscopy, endocytoscopy, confocal laser endoscopy, multiphoton endoscopy, molecular imaging endoscopy, B-mode and Doppler ultrasound, contrast-enhanced ultrasound, ultrasound molecular imaging, and elastography.

Keywords: Autofluorescence endoscopy; B-mode ultrasound; Chromoendoscopy; Confocal endomicroscopy; Crohn’s disease; Doppler ultrasound; Endoscopy; Full-view full-spectrum endoscopy; High-definition endoscopy; Multiphoton endoscopy; Ulcerative colitis; Ultrasound molecular imaging.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colitis, Ulcerative / diagnostic imaging*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / pathology
  • Colonoscopy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Crohn Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Crohn Disease / pathology
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques
  • Endoscopy, Digestive System
  • Humans
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Intestinal Mucosa / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence, Multiphoton
  • Molecular Imaging
  • Optical Imaging
  • Ultrasonography
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler


  • Indicators and Reagents