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Optical Improvements In The Diagnosis Of Bladder Cancer: Implications For Clinical Practice

Tina Schubert, Steffen Rausch, Omar Fahmy, Georgios Gakis, Arnulf Stenzl
Published 2017 · Medicine
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Background For over 100 years white-light cystoscopy has remained the gold-standard technique for the detection of bladder cancer (BCa). Some limitations in the detection of flat lesions (CIS), the differentiation between inflammation and malignancy, the inaccurate determination of the tumor margin status as well as the tumor depth, have led to a variety of technological improvements. The aim of this review is to evaluate the impact of these improvements in the diagnosis of BCa and their effectiveness in clinical practice. Methods A systematic literature search was conducted according to the PRISMA statement to identify studies reporting on imaging modalities in the diagnosis of NMIBC between 2000 and 2017. A two-stage selection process was utilized to determine eligible studies. A total of 74 studies were considered for final analysis. Results Optical imaging technologies have emerged as an adjunct to white-light cystoscopy and can be classified according to their scope as macroscopic, microscopic and molecular. Macroscopic techniques including photodynamic diagnosis (PDD), narrow-band imaging (NBI) and the Storz Professional Image Enhancement System (IMAGE1 S, formerly known as SPIES) are similar to white-light cystoscopy, but are superior in the detection of bladder tumors by means of contrast enhancement. Especially the detection rate of very mute lesions in the bladder mucosa (CIS) could be significantly increased by the use of these methods. Microscopic imaging techniques like confocal laser endomicroscopy and optical coherence tomography permit a real-time high-resolution assessment of the bladder mucosa at a cellular and sub-cellular level with spatial resolutions similar to histology, enabling the surgeon to perform an ‘optical biopsy’. Molecular techniques are based on the combination of optical imaging technologies with fluorescence labeling of cancer-specific molecular agents like antibodies. This labeling is intended to favor an optical distinction between benign and malignant tissue. Conclusions Optical improvements of the standard white-light cystoscopy have proven their benefit in the detection of BCa and have found their way into clinical practice. Especially the combination of macroscopic and microscopic techniques may improve diagnostic accuracy. Nevertheless, HAL-PDD guided cystoscopy is the only approach approved for routine use in the diagnosis of BCa by most urological associations in the EU and USA to date.
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