Minaturised microscope detects bile duct tumors

Published date : 16 August 2012
Article date : 15 August 2012

A new minutare microscope has the potential to detect cancer in harder to access areas of the body. The probe based confocal laser endomicroscope is under 7 millimeters in diameter - small enough to fit inside a bile duct where it takes real-time videos, which, following analysis, could lead to improved rates on detecting bile duct cancer. 

However, the 10-15 doctors in the country (U.S.) trained to use the groundbreaking device may not be certain about or agree on what the micropscope's videos show, according to study published recently in Digestive Diseases and Sciences. 

To test the interpretation of the videos, a research team was despatched to 6 specialists at 5 medical institutions where footage from the examinations of 25 patients with abnormally narrowed bile ducts was viewed. The doctors were in "poor" to "fair" agreement on what they were actually seeing in the videos and that their diagnoses ranged from cancer to simple inflammation. 

Researchers using the device are now meeting regularly to revise and standardise the analysis of the videos. Once clarified, it is likely that the “mini-scope” will help doctors catch cancer earlier and know more clearly which bile duct tumors need to be removed.

Source: Christine Roberts, New York Daily news, 14 August 2012

Read the full article here

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