Endoscopic Reflectance Spectrophotometry and Visible Light Spectroscopy in Clinical Gastrointestinal Studies

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The use of reflectance spectrophotometry (RS) for mucosal hemodynamic measurement relies on the recognition of changes in indexes of mucosal hemoglobin concentration and oxygen saturation. Endoscopic application in clinical studies has confirmed important observations demonstrated in animal experiments. The vasoconstriction induced by propranolol, vasopressin, glypressin, or somatostatin in the portal hypertensive gastric mucosa and the reduction of gastroduodenal mucosal perfusion by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSA-IDs) or smoking, mesenteric venoconstriction associated with systemic hypoxia, and acid-induced duodenal hyperemia are important examples. Prognostic predictions include the development of stress-induced gastric ulcerations in patients with significant reductions in gastric perfusion after thermal or head injury, or the demonstration of delayed gastric or duodenal ulcer healing when the hyperemia at the ulcer margin fails to materialize. In mechanical-ventilator-dependent patients with sepsis, a significantly reduced gastric mucosal RS measurement portends a grave prognosis (mortality >80%). Recent advances in technology resulted in the construction and validation of instruments for visible light spectroscopy. Measurements focused on tissue oxygen saturation demonstrated epinephrine and vessel-ligation-induced vasoconstriction, the absence of ischemia in radiation-induced rectal telangiectasias, and gut ischemia responsive to revascularization treatment. Endoscopic RS and visible light spectroscopy are suitable for assessing the role of blood flow in conditions with a lesser degree of ischemia and for testing the hypothesis that functional dyspepsia and dysmotility syndromes may be due to gut ischemia.

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