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Expert Rev Med Devices. 2006 Sep;3(5):549-56.

Pentax confocal endomicroscope: a novel imaging device for in vivo histology of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract.

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  • 1Cabrini Monash University Department of Surgery, Suite 20, Isabella Street, Malvern, VIC 3144, Australia.


With advances in endoscopic imaging tools, it is becoming increasingly possible to find, assess and treat numerous gastrointestinal (GI) pathologies at the time of endoscopy. This article focuses on the newly developed Pentax confocal endomicroscope that enables in vivo microscopic imaging of the upper and lower GI tract in histological detail at the time of patient examination without the collection of biopsies. The optical imaging technique has the potential to revolutionize clinical workflows in endoscopy through high-resolution fluorescence imaging of cellular and subcellular detail from the surface and subepithelial layers of the GI mucosa. The device incorporates a full screen, high-resolution charge coupled device as well as a confocal microscope. Preliminary data from blinded clinical studies suggests that the use of this device can increase the diagnostic yield for disease detection in conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Barrett's esophagus, where diagnosis using white light endoscopy is problematic. The early detection and diagnosis of GI abnormalities through the collection of 'optical' biopsies or targeted mucosal excisional biopsies has the potential to improve patient outcomes and enable early therapeutic intervention.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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