Urothelial carcinoma of the bladder and upper tract pose significant diagnostic and therapeutic challenges.
White light endoscopy plays a central role in the management of urothelial carcinoma but has several well-recognized shortcomings. New optical imaging technologies may improve diagnostic accuracy, enhance local cancer control, and better stratify treatment options. Confocal laser endomicroscopy enables dynamic imaging of the cellular structures below the mucosal surface and holds promise in providing real time optical diagnosis and grading of urothelial carcinoma. A variety of imaging probes are available that are compatible with the full spectrum of cystoscopes and ureteroscopes. We review the underlying principles and technique of confocal laser endomicroscopy in the urinary tract, with emphasis on specific application towards urothelial carcinoma. While the available data are largely related to urothelial carcinoma of the bladder, the lessons learned are directly applicable to the upper tract, where the clinical needs are significant. Ongoing efforts to optimize this technology offer an exciting glimpse into future advances in optical imaging and intraoperative image guidance.
Chen SP, Liao JC. Are you the author?
Department of Urology, Stanford University School of Medicine, 300 Pasteur Dr., S-287, Stanford, CA, 94305-5118, USA.
Reference: Curr Urol Rep. 2014 Sep;15(9):437.