Volumetric laser endomicroscopy in the management of Barrett's esophagus

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma is on the rise despite widespread appreciation that the precursor lesion is Barrett's esophagus. Studies have shown that some patients known to have Barrett's esophagus develop cancer despite their enrollment in conventional endoscopic surveillance programs. This highlights the need for advanced endoscopic imaging to help identify early neoplasia and prevent its progression to esophageal cancer. Recently, a wide-field, second-generation optical coherence tomography endoscopic platform called volumetric laser endomicroscopy (VLE) was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration and made commercially available for advanced imaging in Barrett's esophagus.

Recent findings

The current review discusses current literature on VLE imaging in Barrett's esophagus. Based on ex-vivo studies, criteria have been established for identifying Barrett's esophagus-associated neoplasia. In addition, recent studies, case series, and case reports have demonstrated that VLE is well tolerated, efficacious, and can target neoplasia.

Summary

VLE is a new advanced imaging platform for Barrett's esophagus with considerable promise to target Barrett's esophagus-associated neoplasia. The following are needed to establish VLE's clinical role: studies showing incremental yield of dysplasia detection using VLE, studies to determine VLE's in-vivo diagnostic accuracy for identifying and classifying Barrett's esophagus-associated neoplasia, and studies on the cost-efficacy of VLE.

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