Meining, A; Frimberger, E; Becker, V; Von Delius, S; Von Weyhern, CH; Schmid, RM; Prinz, C
Detection of cholangiocarcinoma in vivo using miniprobe-based confocal fluorescence microscopy.
BACKGROUND& AIMS: The preoperative diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma is associated with a low sensitivity. To overcome this limitation, a new imaging modality was evaluated to detect neoplasia in vivo in the biliary tract. METHODS: Fourteen patients with biliary strictures were examined. Mucosal imaging was performed with a miniaturized confocal laser scanning miniprobe introduced via the accessory channel of a cholangioscope. Thereafter, targeted biopsy specimens were taken from the same regions. RESULTS: All strictures could be reached. Presence of irregular vessels use confocal laser microscopy enabled prediction of neoplasia with an accuracy rate of 86%, sensitivity of 83%, and specificity of 88%. The respective numbers for standard histopathology were 79%, 50%, and 100%. The mean signal-to-noise-ratio of laser microscopic images acquired from malignant strictures differed significantly from those of benign origin (1.8 +/- 0.8 vs 2.6 +/- 1.0; P = .005). CONCLUSIONS: Miniprobe-based confocal laser scanning microscopy considerably increases sensitivity for the detection of biliary neoplasia and therefore represents a promising diagnostic approach.