Clin Endosc.  2016 Sep;49(5):404-407. 10.5946/ce.2016.100.

Raman Spectroscopy for the Endoscopic Diagnosis of Esophageal, Gastric, and Colonic Diseases

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, National University Health System, Singapore.


Globally white-light endoscopy with biopsy sampling is the gold standard diagnostic modality for esophageal, gastric, and colonic pathologies. However, there is overwhelming evidence to highlight the deficiencies of an approach based predominantly on eyeball visualization. Biopsy sampling is also problematic due in part to excessive sampling and hence attendant cost. Various innovations are currently taking place in the endoscopic domain to aid operators in diagnosis forming. These include narrow band imaging which aims to enhance the surface anatomy and vasculature, and confocal laser endomicroscopy which provides real time histological information. However, both of these tools are limited by the skill of the operator and the extensive learning curve associated with their use. There is a gap therefore for a new form of technology that relies solely on an objective measure of disease and reduces the need for biopsy sampling. Raman spectroscopy (RS) is a potential platform that aims to satisfy these criteria. It enables a fingerprint capture of tissue in relation to the protein, DNA, and lipid content. This focused review highlights the strong potential for the use of RS during endoscopic gastroenterological examination.


Spectrum analysis, Raman; Real-time diagnosis; Real-time decision making; Narrow band imaging; Confocal endomicroscopy
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