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New techniques improve imaging quality, not diagnosis of Barrett's esophagus
Date:3/11/2008

Bethesda, MD (March 4, 2008) Novel techniques to improve the quality of imaging are helping doctors get a better look at esophageal conditions such as Barretts esophagus (BE), but they do not necessarily improve the diagnosis or physician agreement on images, according to a study published this month in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute.

Researchers from the study found that the image quality of magnified images of BE that are obtained with new imaging techniques was preferred both by expert and by non-expert endoscopists. However, this higher preference did not lead to more agreement on features of interest and did not improve their ability to diagnose esophageal abnormalities.

We know that novel technologies are dramatically improving image quality, which in turn has improved the diagnostic potential of minimally invasive techniques. But we need to review these techniques to fully understand if they deliver a clinical benefit rather than just a clearer image, said Jacques Bergman, MD, PhD, from the Academic Medical Center in the Netherlands and lead author of the study. In our opinion, the subjective improvement of image quality with enhancement techniques may have limited clinical relevance in this particular setting.

In this study, the research team compared images obtained with magnifying high-resolution white light endoscopy (WLE, a standard endoscopic process), narrow band imaging (NBI), indigo carmine chromoendoscopy (ICC) and acetic acid chromoendoscopy (AAC) to determine the best techniques for detailed evaluation of BE characteristics. The team evaluated the improved quality of the images and sought to determine if the addition of these enhancement techniques would improve the agreement between observers for distinct features of disease as well as their ability to correctly identify abnormal areas. Because dysplastic and non-dysplastic BE featur
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Contact: Aimee Frank
media@gastro.org
301-941-2620
American Gastroenterological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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