Archive February 2014 XV, No. 2

See It Now: Advances in GI Visualization

Recent innovations are bringing everything into sharper focus.

Jim Burger

Jim Burger, Senior Editor


new advances in GI visualization COME OUT, COME OUT Thanks to remarkable new advances in GI visualization, polyps have no place to hide.

With endoscopy, it's all about what you can see and what you can't. Sharp focus and depth perception are key elements, but so is the ability to reveal targets that might be hiding beneath other anatomy. It's an ongoing challenge for manufacturers, who continue to develop both visual and mechanical innovations that can help you uncover and recognize what you're looking for. Here are some recent examples.

Olympus Evis Exera III

Olympus Evis Exera III
"The difference in detail you get now is even more pronounced than your best high-definition television. It's incredible," says Steven Lichtenstein, DO, director of the division of gastroenterology and medical director at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa. "The dual focus is almost microscopic."

Olympus reps say the company has worked to combine all the key elements of endoscopy: image quality, control and the ability to advance the scope through the colon with as little discomfort on the part of the patient, and as much ease on the part of the endoscopist, as possible.

The resolving power of the HD imaging is designed to differentiate very finely detailed structures of tissue, blood vessels and anything else that might have clinical relevance. There's also a "pre-freeze" function, which is intended to eliminate the frustration of trying to capture a still image for the patient record that isn't blurred. The pre-freeze continually buffers a set of the most recent still images from the video and automatically pulls out the sharpest one.

"I've been practicing for 19 years," says Dr. Lichtenstein, "and between the ease of insertion, and getting from the rectum to the cecum, I think this new generation is the easiest to use."

Pentax RetroView
Polyps hide, RetroView seeks, says Pentax Medical, the manufacturer of this innovative scope, which has a 25% smaller retroflex radius and 210-degree angulation, making it easier to maneuver and easier to spot polyps behind folds in the colon.

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