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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2010 Sep;51(3):274-9. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3181d1b02c.

Role of confocal endomicroscopy in the diagnosis of celiac disease.

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  • 1Centre for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK.



Confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) is a recent development that enables surface and subsurface imaging of living cells in vivo at 1000 x magnification. The aims of the present study were to define confocal features of celiac disease (CD) and to evaluate the usefulness of the CLE in the diagnosis of CD in children in comparison to histology.


Nine patients (8 girls) with a median age of 8.35 years (range 2-12.66 years) and a median weight of 28.3 kg (range 11-71 kg) were suspected with CD and 10 matched controls underwent oesophagogastroduodenoscopy using the confocal laser endomicroscope (EC3870CILK; Pentax, Tokyo, Japan). Histologic sections were compared with the confocal images of the same site by 2 experienced paediatric histopathologists and endoscopists, all of whom were blinded to the diagnosis.


The median procedure time was 17 minutes (range 8-25 minutes). Confocal features of CD were defined and a score was developed. A total of 1384 confocal images were collected from 9 patients and 10 controls. Five images from each patient and control were selected and compared with the biopsy specimen of the same site. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value for the confocal images in comparison to the histology were 100%, 80%, and 81%. The kappa inter-observer agreement between the 2 endoscopists was 0.769 (P = 0.018) and between the 2 histopathologists was 0.571 (P = 0.05).


Confocal endomicroscopy offers the prospect of diagnosis of CD during ongoing endoscopy. It also enables targeting biopsies to abnormal mucosa and thereby increasing the diagnostic yield, especially when villous atrophy is patchy in the duodenum.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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