Esophageal adenocarcinoma is the most rapidly growing cancer in America. Although the prognosis after diagnosis is unfavorable, the chance of a successful outcome increases tremendously if detected early while the lesion is still dysplastic. Unfortunately, the present standard-of-care, endoscopic surveillance, has major limitations, since dysplasia is invisible, often focal, and systematic biopsies typically sample less than one percent of the esophageal lining and therefore easily miss malignancies. To solve this problem we developed a multispectral light scattering endoscopic imaging system. It surveys the entire esophageal lining and accurately detects subcellular dysplastic changes. The system combines light scattering spectroscopy, which detects and identifies invisible dysplastic sites by analyzing light scattered from epithelial cells, with rapid scanning of the entire esophageal lining using a collimated broadband light beam delivered by an endoscopically compatible fiber optic probe. Here we report the results of the first comprehensive multispectral imaging study, conducted as part of routine endoscopic procedures performed on patients with suspected dysplasia. In a double-blind study that characterized the system's ability to serve as a screening tool, 55 out of 57 patients were diagnosed correctly. In addition, a smaller double-blind comparison of the multispectral data in 24 patients with subsequent pathology at locations where 411 biopsies were collected yielded an accuracy of 90% in detecting individual locations of dysplasia, demonstrating the capability of this method to serve as a guide for biopsy.
Keywords: biophotonics; endoscopic multispectral imaging; light scattering spectroscopy; noninvasive cancer detection.