Endoscopy 2007; 39(7): 599-605
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-966648
Original article

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Ultrahigh resolution optical coherence tomography of Barrett’s esophagus: preliminary descriptive clinical study correlating images with histology

Y.  Chen1 , A.  D.  Aguirre1, 2 , P.  -L.  Hsiung1 , S.  Desai3 , P.  R.  Herz1 , M.  Pedrosa3 , Q.  Huang3 , M.  Figueiredo3 , S.-W.  Huang1 , A.  Koski4 , J.  M.  Schmitt4 , J.  G.  Fujimoto1 , H.  Mashimo3
  • 1Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  • 2Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, USA
  • 3VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • 4Light Lab Imaging Inc., Westford, Massachusetts, USA
Further Information

Publication History

submitted 13 September 2006

accepted after revision 31 May 2007

Publication Date:
05 July 2007 (online)

Background and study aims: Endoscopic ultrahigh resolution optical coherence tomography (UHR OCT) achieves an axial image resolution of ~ 5 µm, which is 2 - 3 times finer than standard endoscopic OCT imaging. This study investigated the capability of endoscopic UHR OCT for imaging patients with Barrett’s esophagus.

Patients and methods: Fivty volunteers previously diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus underwent UHR OCT. Imaging was performed at 1.3 µm wavelengths with ~ 5 µm axial and ~ 15 µm transverse resolutions using a 1.8 mm/diameter linear-scanning catheter introduced through the accessory channel of a standard endoscope. OCT images were compared with endoscopic diagnosis and pinch biopsy histological appearances.

Results: UHR OCT images of normal esophagus, Barrett’s esophagus, high grade dysplasia and esophageal adenocarcinoma were evaluated. UHR OCT images of the normal esophagus exhibited characteristic layered architecture with uniform epithelium, while images of Barrett’s esophagus corresponded to crypt-like glandular structures. High grade dysplasia and esophageal adenocarcinoma images exhibited more heterogeneous structures corresponding to irregular, heterogeneous tissue morphology from distorted and cribriform or villiform glandular architecture. Fine features can be discerned more clearly with endoscopic UHR OCT.

Conclusions: This study evaluated new endoscopic OCT technology and demonstrated the feasibility of carrying out UHR OCT imaging in conjunction with standard endoscopy for in vivo real-time imaging of Barrett’s esophagus, dysplasia, and esophageal adenocarcinoma. A survey of normal and abnormal upper gastrointestinal tissues was performed using a research prototype OCT system with the highest axial resolution to date, and can serve as a baseline for future investigation.


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H. Mashimo, MD PhD

VAMC Gastroenterology 111

150 S. Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02130

Fax: +1-857-364-4179

Email: hmashimo@hms.harvard.edu