Clinical Translation of Tethered Confocal Microscopy Capsule for Unsedated Diagnosis of Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Sci Rep. 2018 Feb 8;8(1):2631. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-20668-8.


Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a widely used procedure, posing significant financial burden on both healthcare systems and patients. Moreover, EGD is time consuming, sometimes difficult to tolerate, and suffers from an imperfect diagnostic yield as the limited number of collected biopsies does not represent the whole organ. In this paper, we report on technological and clinical feasibility of a swallowable tethered endomicroscopy capsule, which is administered without sedation, to image large regions of esophageal and gastric mucosa at the cellular level. To demonstrate imaging capabilities, we conducted a human pilot study (n = 17) on Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) patients and healthy volunteers from which representative cases are presented and discussed. Results indicate that, compared to endoscopic biopsy, unsedated tethered capsule endomicroscopy obtains orders of magnitude more cellular information while successfully resolving characteristic tissue microscopic features such as stratified squamous epithelium, lamina propria papillae, intraepithelial eosinophils, and gastric cardia and body/fundic mucosa epithelia. Based on the major import of whole organ, cellular-level microscopy to obviate sampling error and the clear cost and convenience advantages of unsedated procedure, we believe that this tool has the potential to become a simpler and more effective device for diagnosing and monitoring the therapeutic response of EoE and other esophageal diseases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis / diagnosis*
  • Esophagus / ultrastructure*
  • Female
  • Gastric Mucosa / ultrastructure*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Confocal / methods*
  • Pilot Projects