Validation of Probe-based Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy (pCLE) Criteria for Diagnosing Colon Polyp Histology

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Validated probe-based confocal endomicroscopy (pCLE) criteria for distinguishing hyperplastic polyps (HPs) and tubular adenomas (TA) have not yet been developed.


To develop pCLE criteria for distinguishing HP from TA and evaluate its performance characteristics among experts.


pCLE criteria for colon polyp histology were developed and tested in 2 phases prospectively. Phase I: 8 preliminary criteria were developed and tested internally. Criteria achieving an accuracy of >75% (epithelial surface: regular vs. irregular; goblet cells: increased vs. decreased; gland axis: horizontal vs. vertical; gland shape: slit/stellate vs. villiform; image scale: gray vs. dark) were evaluated in Phase II of study wherein external assessors evaluated these criteria in a separate set of pCLE videos. Accuracy and interobserver agreement (95% confidence intervals) were determined for colon histology prediction.


Phase I (criteria development/internal testing): 8 criteria were assessed by 4 pCLE experts using 28 videos (14 HP/14 TA). Five of 8 pCLE criteria met selection for phase II (accuracy >75%). Phase II (external validation): 36 pCLE colon polyp videos (HP 16/TA 20) were evaluated by 8 external assessors. Overall accuracy in diagnosis of colon polyp histology was 84.9% (95% confidence interval, 81.7-87.7). Of predictions made with high confidence (75%), histology was predicted with an accuracy of 91%, sensitivity 83%, specificity 100%, negative predictive value 87% and positive predictive value 98%. Interobserver agreement was substantial (κ=0.73).


We demonstrate the development and validation of pCLE criteria for prediction of colon polyp histology. Using these criteria, overall accuracy in differentiating TA from HP was high with substantial interobserver agreement.

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