Detection of Dysplasia in Barrett's Esophagus With In Vivo Depth-Resolved Nuclear Morphology Measurements

Published:September 20, 2010DOI:

      Background & Aims

      Patients with Barrett's esophagus (BE) show increased risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma and are routinely examined using upper endoscopy with biopsy to detect neoplastic changes. Angle-resolved low coherence interferometry (a/LCI) uses in vivo depth-resolved nuclear morphology measurements to detect dysplasia. We assessed the clinical utility of a/LCI in the endoscopic surveillance of patients with BE.


      Consecutive patients undergoing routine surveillance upper endoscopy for BE were recruited at 2 endoscopy centers. A novel, endoscope-compatible a/LCI system measured the mean diameter and refractive index of cell nuclei in esophageal epithelium at 172 biopsy sites in 46 patients. At each site, an a/LCI measurement was correlated with a concurrent endoscopic biopsy specimen. Each biopsy specimen was assessed histologically and classified as normal, nondysplastic BE, indeterminate for dysplasia, low-grade dysplasia (LGD), or high-grade dysplasia (HGD). The a/LCI data from multiple depths were analyzed to evaluate its ability to differentiate dysplastic from nondysplastic tissue.


      Pathology characterized 5 of the scanned sites as HGD, 8 as LGD, 75 as nondysplastic BE, 70 as normal tissue types, and 14 as indeterminate for dysplasia. The a/LCI nuclear size measurements separated dysplastic from nondysplastic tissue at a statistically significant (P < .001) level for the tissue segment 200 to 300 μm beneath the surface with an accuracy of 86% (147/172). A receiver operator characteristic analysis indicated an area under the curve of 0.91, and an optimized decision point gave 100% (13/13) sensitivity and 84% (134/159) specificity.


      These preliminary data suggest a/LCI is accurate in detecting dysplasia in vivo in patients with BE.


      Abbreviations used in this paper:

      a/LCI (angle-resolved low coherence interferometry), AUC (area under the curve), BE (Barrett's esophagus), CI (confidence interval), HGD (high-grade dysplasia), LGD (low-grade dysplasia), ROC (receiver operating characteristic)
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