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Diagnostic value of confocal laser endomicroscopy for gastric superficial cancerous lesions
  1. Wen-Bo Li1,2,
  2. Xiu-Li Zuo1,
  3. Chang-Qing Li1,
  4. Fang Zuo1,
  5. Xiao-Meng Gu1,
  6. Tao Yu1,
  7. Chuan-Lian Chu1,
  8. Ting-Guo Zhang3,
  9. Yan-Qing Li1
  1. 1Department of Gastroenterology, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, China
  2. 2Department of Gastroenterology, the General Hospital of Jinan Military Command, Jinan, China
  3. 3Department of Pathology, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Yan-Qing Li, Department of Gastroenterology, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, 107, Wenhua Xi Road, Jinan, 250012, China; liyanqing{at}


Background The identification of gastric superficial cancerous lesions based on conventional white-light endoscopy (WLE) is challenging, and histological analysis remains the ‘gold standard’ for the final diagnosis. Confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) can provide in vivo histological observation without the need for biopsy.

Objective To develop and evaluate CLE imaging criteria for gastric superficial cancerous lesions and to compare the diagnostic value of real-time integrated CLE (iCLE) and WLE alone in distinguishing gastric superficial cancerous lesions.

Design Prospective study.

Setting Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, China.

Patients A total of 182 patients were enrolled into phase I and 1786 patients were enrolled into phase II.

Interventions CLE images were blindly evaluated after endoscopy in phase I, and real-time iCLE diagnosis during endoscopy was compared with WLE diagnosis by using histopathology as a gold standard in phase II.

Main outcome measurements The validity and reliability of the CLE diagnosis for identifying gastric superficial cancerous lesions.

Results Off-line CLE diagnosis for early gastric cancers had a high sensitivity (88.1%) and specificity (98.6%). When the two-tiered CLE classification of non-cancerous lesions and cancer/high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (HGIN) lesions was introduced, CLE diagnosis led to a higher sensitivity (90.2%) and specificity (98.5%) (phase I). Real-time iCLE diagnosis had a higher sensitivity (88.9%), specificity (99.3%) and accuracy (98.8%) for gastric superficial cancer/HGIN lesions than WLE diagnosis (sensitivity, 72.2%; specificity, 95.1%; and accuracy, 94.1%) (p<0.05) (phase II).

Limitations This was a single-centre study.

Conclusions CLE can be used to identify gastric superficial cancer/HGIN lesions with high validity and reliability.

  • Stomach
  • endoscopy
  • confocal laser endomicroscopy
  • early gastric cancer
  • superficial neoplasia
  • gastric cancer

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  • Funding This study was funded by a programme of the Shandong Province Science and Technology Committee (2006GG3202022) and a program of clinical projects of the Ministry of Health of China (2007). The confocal endomicroscope was provided by Pentax, Tokyo, Japan.

  • Competing interests None

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the clinical research ethics committee of Shandong University's Qilu Hospital, and according to the Declaration of Helsinki.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.