Endoscopic Raman spectroscopy enables objective diagnosis of dysplasia in Barrett's esophagus

L Max Almond, Jo Hutchings, Gavin Lloyd, Hugh Barr, Neil Shepherd, John Day, Oliver Stevens, Scott Sanders, Martin Wadley, Nick Stone, Catherine Kendall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Early detection and targeted endoscopic resection of Barrett's esophagus-associated high-grade dysplasia (HGD) can prevent progression to invasive esophageal malignancy. Raman spectroscopy, a highly sophisticated analytical technique, has been translated into an endoscopic tool to facilitate rapid, objective diagnosis of dysplasia in the esophagus.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the ability of endoscopic Raman spectroscopy (ERS) to objectively detect esophageal HGD and adenocarcinoma.

DESIGN: A total of 798 one-second spectra were measured from 673 ex vivo esophageal tissue samples, collected from patients with Barrett's esophagus by using a novel endoscopic Raman probe. Spectra were correlated with consensus histopathology. Multivariate analysis was used to evaluate the classification accuracy of ERS ex vivo.

SETTING: Probe measurements were conducted in the laboratory. Tissue specimens were collected from the operating theatre and endoscopy unit.

PATIENTS: Tissue from 62 patients was included in the study.

INTERVENTIONS: Endoscopic biopsy/resection or esophagectomy was performed where indicated clinically.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENT: Diagnostic performance of ERS for detection of HGD and esophageal adenocarcinoma.

RESULTS: ERS demonstrated a sensitivity of 86% and a specificity of 88% for detecting HGD and adenocarcinoma. The ability to grade dysplasia and differentiate intestinal metaplasia from nonintestinal metaplasia columnar-lined esophagus was also demonstrated. Diagnostic classification was based on objective measurement of the biochemical profile of different tissue types. The potential for combination ERS and narrow-band imaging was also demonstrated.

LIMITATIONS: Measurements were taken from ex vivo tissue.

CONCLUSION: ERS enables rapid, accurate, objective diagnosis of superficial esophageal disease (metaplasia, dysplasia, intramucosal cancer) in clinically applicable time scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-45
Number of pages9
JournalGastrointestinal Endoscopy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Barrett Esophagus
  • Biopsy
  • Esophageal Neoplasms
  • Esophagectomy
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Esophagus
  • Humans
  • Metaplasia
  • Narrow Band Imaging
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman


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