Endoscopy 2002; 34(5): 369-375
DOI: 10.1055/s-2002-25285
Original Article

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Magnifying Endoscopy, Stereoscopic Microscopy, and the Microvascular Architecture of Superficial Esophageal Carcinoma

Y.  Kumagai 1 , H.  Inoue 1 , K.  Nagai 1 , T.  Kawano 1 , T.  Iwai 1
  • 1 First Department of Surgery, Tokyo Medical and Dental University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
Further Information

Publication History

29 March 2001

1 December 2001

Publication Date:
22 April 2002 (online)

Background and Study Aims: In this study we clarify the microvascular architecture of superficial esophageal carcinoma as observed by ultra-high magnification endoscopy and stereoscopic microscopy with Microfil injection.
Patients and Methods: We observed two surgically resected specimens of superficial esophageal cancer under stereoscopic microscopy with Microfil injection. In addition, in the histological investigation, we measured the caliber of the vessels at the surface of the tumor. We carried out ultra-high magnification before treatment in 82 patients with superficial esophageal neoplasms. We classified the depth of tumor penetration of superficial esophageal carcinoma into four categories: m1 to m3 (mucosal cancer) and sm (submucosal cancer).
Results: By observing the normal esophageal mucosa under a stereoscopic microscope and an ultra-high magnification endoscope, we were able to visualize the intrapapillary capillary loops (IPCL). In cancer lesions, we observed characteristic changes in the superficial microvascular architecture according to the depth of tumor invasion. In m1 invasion, there was dilatation of the IPCL; in m2 invasion, there was dilatation and elongation of the IPCL; in m3, there was a mixed appearance of the IPCL and tumor vessels; and in sm invasion, complete replacement by tumor vessels. On the basis of the above criteria, ultra-high magnification endoscopic observation before treatment showed a rate of agreement between histological depth of invasion and magnified appearance of 60/72 cases (83.3 %) for which satisfactory pictures were obtained. The histological investigation showed the caliber of the IPCL of the m1 cancer lesions (12.9 ± 3.9 µm) to be significantly greater than that of the normal esophageal mucosa (6.9 ± 1.5 µm) (P < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Observation of the microvascular architecture of superficial esophageal carcinoma is useful in the diagnosis of the depth of invasion.


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Y. Kumagai, M.D.

First Department of Surgery · Tokyo Medical and Dental University School of Medicine

Yushima 1-5-45 · Bunkyo-ku · Tokyo 113-8519 · Japan

Fax: + 81-3-38174126 ·

Email: kuma.srg-k@komagome-hospital.bunkyo.tokyo.jp