The high-resolution microendoscope (HRME) allows for real-time imaging of the esophageal and gastric epithelium with subcellular resolution. In an Advances in Translational Science article in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Justin S. Louie et al discuss the performance of this portable, low cost, optical biopsy technology in screening and surveillance of gastrointestinal neoplasias, including esophageal adenocarcinoma, esophageal squamous cell cancer, colorectal neoplasia, and anal neoplasia.
The HRME comprises a thin, flexible fiberoptic probe; a combined light source and camera; and a laptop- or tablet-based processor.
Used along with any standard endoscope, the HRME can detect esophageal, colon, and anal neoplasias with high levels of sensitivity and specificity.
HRME images can be interpreted visually or with automated image analysis software. Louie et al explain that gastroenterologists can be rapidly and successfully trained to use HRME.
The authors state that the high accuracy, specificity, and negative predictive values of HRME can allow endoscopists to determine which lesions require biopsy, which can be removed and discarded, and which require endoscopic removal. They discuss the advantages and limitations of this technology in practice.