Forward-viewing linear echoendoscope: a new option in the endoscopic ultrasound armamentarium (with video)

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The forward-viewing linear echoendoscope (FV-EUS) has been developed with the aim of overcoming limitations of standard curved linear-array echoendoscopes (CLA-EUS) and to further expand interventional applications of EUS. The main characteristic of the FV-EUS is a shifting in the orientation of both endoscopic and ultrasound views from oblique to forward, with the exit of the working channel at the tip of the instrument. This allows exit of the devices parallel to the longitudinal axis of the endoscope, thus resulting in a more direct and stable access to the lesion while increasing the precision and force applied to the target. Accumulating evidence has shown that the FV-EUS can be used instead of the standard CLA-EUS scope for routine fine needle aspiration, with extremely good performance for subepithelial lesions and for difficult to reach locations. Several areas of use of this echoendoscope are yet to be better defined, such as its potential for therapeutic and interventional procedures, as well as for natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery. The current report provides an updated overview of the available evidence for both diagnostic and interventional uses of the FV-EUS.

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