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Endoscopy. 2005 Jan;37(1):26-32.

Diagnosis of esophagogastric tumors.

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  • 1Gastroenterology Unit, Hospital de Cruces, Baracaldo, Universidad del País Vasco, Spain.


With regard to esophageal tumors, important reports on several topics have been published recently. 1) The place of endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) as the best locoregional staging technique for cancer of the esophagus has been further consolidated. The addition of fine-needle aspiration makes EUS more sensitive than computed tomography (CT) and more accurate than CT or EUS alone for nodal staging. 2) High-resolution endoscopy with chromoendoscopy has been found to be very effective for mucosal lesions, but not for submucosal lesions. In combination with EUS, the sensitivity for submucosal tumors increases up to 60 %. 3) Autofluorescence-guided biopsy has been reported to be a good tool for detecting high-grade dysplasia. A narrow-band imaging system improved the overall accuracy for depth of invasion. 4) The incidence of hypopharyngeal cancer increases after resection for esophageal carcinoma. Patients with a scattered staining pattern after application of Lugol's solution are more prone to develop upper lesions. 5) Fluorescence imaging makes it possible to detect low-grade intraepithelial neoplasia in Barrett's mucosa, with fewer biopsies. 6) Patients with Barrett's esophagus with a length of over 3 cm had a significantly greater prevalence of dysplasia in comparison with those in the whom the Barrett's segment was shorter than 3 cm (23 % vs. 9 %, P = 0.0001). With regard to gastric tumors, 1) Helicobacter pylori eradication can significantly reduce the development of gastric cancer, but only in patients without precancerous lesions. 2) Intestinal metaplasia types II and III have been shown to have a higher rate of progression to low-grade dysplasia than type I. 3) With regard to screening in asymptomatic individuals, serum pepsinogen may represent an alternative to conventional fluoroscopy methods. 4) In patients who have undergone esophagectomy for esophageal cancer, annual follow-up endoscopies are vital for detecting early secondary gastric cancer and ulcerations in which curative treatment is possible. 5) High-resolution endoscopy allows more precise diagnosis of early gastric cancer. The presence of irregular minute vessels and variations in vessel caliber were found to be specific of early gastric cancer. The small regular pattern of sulci and ridges was observed significantly more frequently in differentiated carcinoma than in undifferentiated carcinoma. 6) Infrared-ray electronic endoscopy combined with indocyanine green injection appears to be effective in detecting sentinel nodes that contain metastases in patients with gastric cancer. 7) Gastric adenocarcinoma was found to show specific changes in the fluorescence spectra emitted, in comparison with normal gastric mucosa. However, there was wide variation in the emitted autofluorescence spectra in gastric cancer with signet-ring cells in comparison with normal mucosa.

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