Intest Res.  2021 Jan;19(1):33-44. 10.5217/ir.2019.09175.

Endoscopic molecular imaging in inflammatory bowel disease

  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Veterans Health Service Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Gastroenterology, Digestive Diseases Research Center, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Molecular imaging is a technique for imaging the processes occurring in a living body at a molecular level in real-time, combining molecular cell biology with advanced imaging technologies using molecular probes and fluorescence. Gastrointestinal endoscopic molecular imaging shows great promise for improving the identification of neoplasms, providing characterization for patient stratification and assessing the response to molecular targeted therapy. In inflammatory bowel disease, endoscopic molecular imaging can be used to assess disease severity and predict therapeutic response and prognosis. Endoscopic molecular imaging is also able to visualize dysplasia in the presence of background inflammation. Several preclinical and clinical trials have evaluated endoscopic molecular imaging; however, this area is just beginning to evolve, and many issues have not been solved yet. In the future, it is expected that endoscopic molecular imaging will be of increasing interest among clinicians as a new technology for the identification and evaluation of colorectal neoplasm and colitis-associated cancer.


Molecular imaging; Intestinal diseases; Inflammatory bowel disease; Colitis; Neoplasm
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