CAM 20187

Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy

Category:Medicine   Last Reviewed:June 2019
Department(s):Medical Affairs   Next Review:June 2020
Original Date:June 2013    

Description
Confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE), also known as confocal fluorescent endomicroscopy and optical endomicroscopy, allows in vivo microscopic imaging of cells during endoscopy. CLE is proposed for a variety of purposes, especially as a real-time alternative to biopsy/polypectomy and histopathologic analysis during colonoscopy and for targeting areas to undergo biopsy in patients with inflammatory bowel disease or Barrett's esophagus.

For individuals who have suspected or known colorectal lesions who receive CLE as an adjunct to colonoscopy, the evidence includes multiple diagnostic accuracy studies. Relevant outcomes are overall survival, disease-specific survival, test accuracy and validity and resource utilization. While the reported sensitivity and specificity in these studies are high, it is uncertain whether the accuracy is sufficiently high to replace biopsy/polypectomy and histopathologic analysis. Moreover, issues remain about the use of this technology in practice (e.g., the learning curve, interpretation of lesions). The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes.

For individuals who have Barrett's esophagus who are undergoing surveillance who receive CLE with targeted biopsy, the evidence includes several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and a meta-analysis. Relevant outcomes are overall survival, disease-specific survival, test accuracy and validity and resource utilization. Evidence from RCTs has suggested CLE is more sensitive than standard endoscopy for identifying areas of dysplasia. However, a 2014 meta-analysis found that the pooled sensitivity, specificity and negative predictive value of available studies were not sufficiently high to replace the standard surveillance protocol. National guidelines continue to recommend 4-quadrant random biopsies for patients with Barrett's esophagus undergoing surveillance. The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes.

For individuals who have gastrointestinal lesions and have had endoscopic treatment who receive CLE, the evidence includes 1 RCT and a systematic review. Relevant outcomes are overall survival, disease-specific survival, test accuracy and validity and resource utilization. The single RCT, which compared high definition (HD) white-light endoscopy with HD white-light endoscopy plus CLE, was stopped early because an interim analysis did not find a between-group difference in outcomes. The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes.

For individuals who have a suspicion of a condition diagnosed by identification and biopsy of lesions (e.g., lung, bladder or gastric cancer) who receive CLE, the evidence includes a small number of diagnostic accuracy studies. Relevant outcomes are overall survival, disease-specific survival, test accuracy and validity and resource utilization. There is limited evidence on the diagnostic accuracy of these other indications. The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes.

Background 
Confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE), also known as confocal fluorescent endomicroscopy and optical endomicroscopy, allows in vivo microscopic imaging of the mucosal epithelium during endoscopy. The process uses light from a low-power laser to illuminate tissue and, subsequently, the same lens detects light reflected from the tissue through a pinhole. The term confocal refers to having both illumination and collection systems in the same focal plane. Light reflected and scattered at other geometric angles that is not reflected through the pinhole is excluded from detection, which dramatically increases the resolution of CLE images.

To date, 2 CLE systems have been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). One is an endoscope-based system with a confocal probe incorporated onto the tip of a conventional endoscope. The other is a probe-based system; the probe is placed through the biopsy channel of a conventional endoscope. The depth of view is up to 250 μm with the endoscopic system and about 120 μm with the probe-based system. A limited area can be examined — no more than 700 μm in the endoscopic-based system and less with the probe-based system. As pointed out in systematic reviews, the limited viewing area emphasizes the need for careful conventional endoscopy to target areas for evaluation. Both CLE systems are optimized using a contrast agent. The most widely used agent is intravenous fluorescein, which is FDA-approved for ophthalmologic imaging of blood vessels when used with a laser scanning ophthalmoscope.

Unlike techniques such as chromoendoscopy (see evidence review 20184), which are primarily intended to improve the sensitivity of colonoscopy, CLE is unique in that it is designed to immediately characterize the cellular structure of lesions. CLE can thus potentially be used to make a diagnosis of polyp histology, particularly in association with screening or surveillance colonoscopy, which could allow for small hyperplastic lesions to be overlooked rather than removed and sent for histologic evaluation. Using CLE would reduce risks associated with biopsy and reduce the number of biopsies and histologic evaluations.

Another potential application of CLE technology is targeting areas for biopsy in patients with Barrett's esophagus undergoing surveillance endoscopy. This alternative to the current standard approach, recommended by the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), is that patients with Barrett's esophagus who do not have dysplasia undergo endoscopic surveillance every 3 to 5 years.1 AGA has further recommended that random 4-quadrant biopsies every 2 cm be taken with white-light endoscopy in patients without known dysplasia.

Other potential uses of CLE under investigation include better diagnosis and differentiation of conditions such as gastric metaplasia, lung cancer and bladder cancer.

As noted, limitations of CLE systems include a limited viewing area and depth of view. Another issue is standardization of systems for classifying lesions viewed with CLE devices. Although there is currently no internationally accepted classification system for colorectal lesions, 2 systems have been used in a number of studies conducted in different countries. They are the Mainz criteria for endoscopy-based CLE devices and the Miami classification system for probe-based CLE devices.2 Lesion classification systems are less developed for non‒gastrointestinal lesions viewed by CLE devices (e.g., those in the lung or bladder). Another challenge is the learning curve for obtaining high-quality images and classifying lesions. Several recent studies, however, have found that the ability to acquire high-quality images and interpret them accurately can be learned relatively quickly; these studies were specific to colorectal applications of CLE.3,4 

Regulatory Status
Two CLE devices have been cleared for marketing by FDA. These include:

Cellvizio® (Mauna Kea Technologies; Paris, France): This is a confocal microscopy with a fiber optic probe (i.e., a probe-based CLE system). The device consists of a laser scanning unit, proprietary software, a flat-panel display and miniaturized fiber optic probes. The F-600 system, cleared by FDA in 2006, can be used with any standard endoscope with a working channel of at least 2.8 mm. According to FDA documents, the device is intended for confocal laser imaging of the internal microstructure of tissues in the anatomic tract (gastrointestinal or respiratory) that are accessed by an endoscope.

Confocal Video Colonoscope (Pentax Medical Company: Montvale, NJ): This is an endoscopy-based CLE system. The EC-3S7OCILK system, cleared by FDA in 2004, is used with a Pentax Video Processor and with a Pentax Confocal Laser System. According to FDA materials, the intended use of the device is to provide optical and microscopic visualization of and therapeutic access to the lower gastrointestinal tract.

Related Policies
20180 Endoscopic Radiofrequency Ablation or Cryoablation for Barrett's Esophagus
20184 Chromoendoscopy as an Adjunct to Colonoscopy
60132 Virtual Colonoscopy/CT Colonography

Policy:
Use of confocal laser endomicroscopy is considered INVESTIGATIONAL.

Policy Guidelines
There are specific CPT codes for the use of this technology in upper gastrointestinal endoscopy: 

43206 Esophagoscopy, flexible, transoral; with optical endomicroscopy
43252 Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, flexible, transoral; with optical endomicroscopy. 

The interpretation and report of optical endomicroscopic image(s) would be reported with the following code: 

88375: Optical endomicroscopic image(s), interpretation and report, real-time or referred, each endoscopic session. 

Code 88375 cannot be reported in conjunction with codes 43206 and 43252. 

There is now a CPT category III code for the use of this technology with an endoscopic exam of the biliary tract and/or pancreas: 

0397T Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), with optical endomicroscopy (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure) 

Benefit Application:
BlueCard®/National Account Issues
State or federal mandates (e.g., FEP) may dictate that all U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved devices, drugs or biologics may not be considered investigational, and, thus, these devices may be assessed only on the basis of their medical necessity.

Rationale
Evidence reviews assess whether a medical test is clinically useful. A useful test provides information to make a clinical management decision that improves the net health outcome. That is, the balance of benefits and harms is better when the test is used to manage the condition than when another test or no test is used to manage the condition.

The first step in assessing a medical test is to formulate the clinical context and purpose of the test. The test must be technically reliable, clinically valid, and clinically useful for that purpose. Evidence reviews assess the evidence on whether a test is clinically valid and clinically useful. Technical reliability is outside the scope of these reviews, and credible information on technical reliability is available from other sources.

Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy
Clinical Context and Test Purpose
The purpose of confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) scanning in patients with suspected or known colorectal lesions; Barrett esophagus (BE) who are undergoing surveillance; gastrointestinal lesions following endoscopic treatment; or suspected other conditions diagnosed by identification and biopsy of lesions (eg, lung, bladder, head and neck, esophageal, or gastric cancers) is to provide a real-time alternative to histology and assist in targeting areas for biopsy.

The question addressed in this evidence review is: Does the use of CLE improve the net health outcome in individuals with suspected or known colorectal lesions, BE who are undergoing surveillance, gastrointestinal lesions who have had endoscopic treatment, or suspected other conditions (eg, lung, bladder, head and neck, esophageal, or gastric cancers)?

The following PICOTS were used to select literature to inform this review.

Patients
The populations of interest are patients with suspected or known colorectal lesions; BE undergoing surveillance; gastrointestinal lesions who have had endoscopic treatment; and suspected other conditions diagnosed by identification and biopsy of lesions.

Interventions
The intervention of interest is CLE.

Comparators
The following tools and practices are currently being used to diagnose the following conditions: 

  • For suspected colorectal lesions, white-light colonoscopy alone or alternative adjunctive diagnostic aids
  • For BE undergoing surveillance, standard endoscopy with random biopsy
  • For gastrointestinal lesions following endoscopic treatment, standard endoscopy (white-light endoscopy)
  • For other condition diagnosed by identification and biopsy of lesions, standard diagnostic procedures.

Outcomes
The outcomes of interest include overall survival, disease specific survival, test validity, and resource utilization.

Timing
For patients with suspected colorectal lesions, BE, and other conditions, the timing of CLE would be during the disease confirmation process. For patients with gastrointestinal lesions following endoscopic treatment, the timing would be following the endoscopic treatment.

Setting
CLE would be administered in a facility equipped with this endomicroscope.

Technically Reliable
Assessment of technical reliability focuses on specific tests and operators and requires review of unpublished and often proprietary information. Review of specific tests, operators, and unpublished data are outside the scope of this evidence review and alternative sources exist. This evidence review focuses on the clinical validity and clinical utility.

Colorectal Lesions
Clinically Valid
A test must detect the presence or absence of a condition, the risk of developing a condition in the future, or treatment response (beneficial or adverse).

Systematic Reviews
Several systematic reviews have compared the diagnostic accuracy of CLE with a reference standard. Su et al (2013) reviewed studies on the efficacy of CLE for discriminating colorectal neoplasms from non-neoplasms.5 To be included in the review, studies had to use histologic biopsy as the reference standard, and the pathologist and endoscopist had to be blinded to each other’s findings. Selected studies also had to use a standardized CLE classification system. Patients had to be at increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) due to personal or family history, have previously identified polyps, and/or have inflammatory bowel disease. Two reviewers independently assessed the quality of individual studies using the modified Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies tool, and studies considered at high risk of bias were excluded from further consideration.

Fifteen studies (total N=719 adults) were selected. All were single-center trials, and two were available only as abstracts. In all studies, suspicious lesions were first identified by conventional white-light endoscopy with or without chromoendoscopy and then further examined by CLE. Meta-analysis of the 15 studies found an overall sensitivity for CLE of 94% (95% confidence interval [CI], 88% to 97%) and a specificity of 95% (95% CI, 89% to 97%) compared with histology. Six studies included patients at increased risk of CRC who were undergoing surveillance endoscopy; 5 studies included patients with colorectal polyps and 4 studies included patients with inflammatory bowel disease. In a predefined subgroup analysis by indication for screening, the pooled sensitivity and specificity for surveillance studies were 94% (95% CI, 90% to 97%) and 98% (95% CI, 97% to 99%), respectively. For patients presenting with colorectal polyps, the pooled sensitivity of CLE was 91% (95% CI, 87% to 94%) and the specificity was 85% (95% CI, 78% to 90%). For patients with inflammatory bowel disease, the pooled sensitivity was 83% (95% CI, 70% to 92%) and the specificity was 90% (95% CI, 87% to 93%). In other predefined subgroup analyses, the summary sensitivity and specificity were significantly higher (p<0.001) in studies of endoscopy-based CLE (97% and 99%, respectively) than in studies of probe-based CLE (87% and 82%, respectively). In addition, the summary sensitivity and specificity were significantly higher (p<0.01) with real-time CLE in which the macroscopic endoscopy findings were known (96% and 97%, respectively) than in blinded CLE in which recorded confocal images were subsequently analyzed without knowledge of macroscopic endoscopy findings (85% and 82%, respectively).

A systematic review by Dong et al (2013) included studies that compared the diagnostic accuracy of CLE with conventional endoscopy.6 Reviewers did not explicitly state that the reference standard was histologic biopsy, but this was the implied reference standard. Six studies were included in a meta-analysis. All were prospective, and at least five included blinded interpretation of CLE findings (in 1 study, it was unclear whether interpretation was blinded). In a pooled analysis of data from all 6 studies, the sensitivity was 81% (95% CI, 77% to 85%) and the specificity was 88% (95% CI, 85% to 90%). Reviewers also conducted a subgroup analysis by type of CLE used. When findings from the 2 studies on endoscopy-based CLE were pooled, the sensitivity was 82% (95% CI, 69% to 91%) and the specificity was 94% (95% CI, 91% to 96%). Two studies may not have been sufficient to obtain a reliable estimate of diagnostic accuracy. When findings from the 4 studies on probe-based endoscopy were pooled, the sensitivity was 81% (95% CI, 76% to 85%) and the specificity was 75% (95% CI, 69% to 81%).

A meta-analysis by Wanders et al (2013) searched for studies that reported on the diagnostic accuracy of several new technologies used to differentiate between colorectal neoplasms and non-neoplasms.7 To be selected, studies had to use the technology to differentiate between non-neoplastic and neoplastic lesions and to use histopathology as the reference standard. Blinding was not an inclusion criterion. Eleven eligible studies identified included an analysis of CLE. Meta-analysis yielded an estimated sensitivity of 93.3% (95% CI, 88.4% to 96.2%) and a specificity of 89.9% (95% CI, 81.8% to 94.6%). Meta-analysis limited to the 5 studies that used endoscopy-based CLE found a sensitivity of 94.8% (95% CI, 90.6% to 98.92%) and a specificity of 94.4% (95% CI, 90.7% to 99.2%). When findings of the 6 probe-based CLE studies were pooled, the sensitivity was 91.5% (95% CI, 86.0% to 97.0%) and specificity was 80.9 (95% CI, 69.4% to 92.4%).

Cohort Studies
A study by Xie et al (2011) in China included 116 consecutive patients who had polyps found during CLE (1 patient was excluded from the analysis).8 All patients had an indication for colonoscopy (19 were undergoing surveillance after polypectomy, 2 had a family history of CRC, 3 had inflammatory bowel disease, 91 were seeking a diagnosis). All patients first underwent white-light colonoscopy. Endoscopy-based CLE was used on the first polyp identified during withdrawal of the endoscope (ie, 1 polyp per patient was analyzed). Real-time diagnosis of the polyp was performed based on criteria used at the study center (adapted from the Mainz classification system). The polyps were biopsied or removed, and a histopathologic diagnosis was determined. Real-time CLE diagnosis correctly identified 109 (95%) of 115 adenomas or hyperplastic polyps. Four adenomas were misdiagnosed by CLE as hyperplastic polyps (two were tubulous adenomas, two were tubulovillous adenomas) and 2 hyperplastic polyps were misdiagnosed as adenomas. The overall sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) of CLE diagnosis were 93.9% (95% CI, 85.4% to 97.6%), 95.9% (95% CI, 86.2% to 98.9%), 96.9% (95% CI, 89% to 99%), and 94.8% (95% CI, 89.1% to 97.6%), respectively. For polyps less than 10 mm in size, CLE diagnosis had a sensitivity of 90.3% and a specificity of 95.7%; for polyps 10 mm or larger, sensitivity was 97.1% and specificity was 100%.

Buchner et al (2010) published findings on 75 patients who had a total of 119 polyps.9 Patients were eligible for participation if they were undergoing surveillance or screening colonoscopy or undergoing evaluation of known or suspected polyps identified by other imaging modalities or endoscopic resection of larger flat colorectal neoplasia. White-light colonoscopy was used as the primary screening method. When a suspicious lesion was identified, it was evaluated by virtual chromoendoscopy and a probe-based CLE system. After the imaging techniques, the appropriate intervention (ie, polypectomy, biopsy, endoscopic mucosal resection) was performed, and all resected specimens underwent histopathologic analysis by a pathologist blinded to CLE information. Confocal images of the 199 polyps were evaluated after all procedures were completed; the evaluator was blinded to the histology diagnosis and the endoscopic appearance of the lesion. Diagnosis of confocal images used modified Mainz criteria; polyps were classified as benign or neoplastic. According to histopathologic analysis, there were 38 hyperplastic polyps and 81 neoplastic lesions. CLE correctly identified 74 of 81 neoplastic polyps (sensitivity, 91%; 95% CI, 83% to 96%). In addition, CLE correctly identified 29 of 38 hyperplastic polyps (specificity, 76%; 95% CI, 60% to 89%). In contrast, virtual chromoendoscopy correctly identified 62 neoplastic polyps (sensitivity, 77%; 95% CI, 66% to 85%) and 27 hyperplastic polyps (specificity, 71%; 95% CI, 54% to 85%).

Another study from the same academic medical center as Buchner was published by Shadid et al (2012).10 The study compared 2 methods of analyzing CLE images: real-time diagnosis and blinded review of video images after endoscopy (known as “offline” diagnosis). The study included 74 patients with 154 colorectal lesions. Eligibility criteria were similar to the Buchner study (previously discussed)---selected patients were undergoing surveillance or screening colonoscopy. Patients had white-light colonoscopy, and identified polyps were also evaluated with virtual chromoendoscopy and probe-based CLE. At examination, an endoscopist made a real-time diagnosis based on CLE images. Based on that diagnosis, the patient underwent polypectomy, biopsy, or endoscopic mucosal resection, and histopathologic analysis was done on the specimens. CLE images were deidentified and reviewed offline by the same endoscopist at least 1 month later. At the second review, the endoscopist was blinded to the endoscopic and histopathologic diagnosis. Of the 154 polyps, 74 were found by histopathologic analysis to be non-neoplastic, and 80 were neoplastic (63 tubular adenomas, 12 tubulovillous adenomas, 3 mixed hyperplastic-adenoma polyps, 2 adenocarcinomas). Overall, there was no statistically significant difference in the diagnostic accuracy between real-time CLE diagnosis and blinded offline CLE diagnosis (ie, confidence intervals overlapped). The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV for real-time CLE diagnosis were 81%, 76%, 87%, and 79%, respectively. For offline diagnosis, these values were 88%, 77%, 81%, and 85%, respectively. For larger polyps, there was a nonsignificant trend in favor of better diagnostic accuracy with real-time compared with offline CLE. However, in the subgroup of 107 smaller polyps (<10 mm in size), the accuracy of real-time CLE was significantly less than offline CLE. For smaller polyps, the sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV of real-time CLE were 71%, 83%, 78%, and 78%, respectively; for offline CLE, they were 86%, 78%, 76%, and 87%, respectively.

A study by Hlavaty et al (2011) included patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn disease.11 Thirty patients were examined with standard white-light colonoscopy, chromoendoscopy, and an endoscopy-based CLE system. Another 15 patients were examined only with standard colonoscopy. All lesions identified by white-light colonoscopy or chromoendoscopy were examined using CLE to identify neoplasia using the Mainz classification system. Suspicious lesions were biopsied, and random biopsies were taken from 4 quadrants every 10 cm per the standard surveillance colonoscopy protocol. All specimens underwent histologic analysis by a gastrointestinal pathologist blinded to CLE diagnosis. Diagnostic accuracy of CLE was calculated for examinable lesions only. Compared with histologic diagnosis, the sensitivity of CLE for diagnosing low-grade and high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia was 100%, specificity was 98.4%, PPV was 66.7%, and NPV was 100%. However, whereas CLE was able to examine 28 (93%) of 30 flat lesions, it could examine only 40 (57%) of 70 protruding polyps. Moreover, 6 (60%) of 10 dysplastic lesions, including 3 of 5 low-grade and high-grade intraepithelial neoplasms, were not evaluable by CLE. It is also worth noting that the diagnostic accuracy of chromoendoscopy (see evidence review 2.01.84) is similar to that of CLE. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV of chromoendoscopy were 100%, 97.9%, 75%, and 100%, respectively.

Clinically Useful
A test is clinically useful if the use of the results informs management decisions that improve the net health outcome of care. The net health outcome can be improved if patients receive correct therapy, or more effective therapy, or avoid unnecessary therapy, or avoid unnecessary testing.

Direct Evidence
Direct evidence of clinical utility is provided by studies that have compared health outcomes for patients managed with and without the test. Because these are intervention studies, the preferred evidence would be from RCTs.

In patients at average risk of CRC, no RCTs or nonrandomized comparative studies were identified that evaluated the impact of CLE on subsequent development of CRC or on CRC mortality.

Chain of Evidence
Indirect evidence on clinical utility rests on clinical validity. If the evidence is insufficient to demonstrate test performance, no inferences can be made about clinical utility.

It is not clear that the diagnostic performance of this technology is sufficient to obviate the need for biopsy of identified polyp lesions. Thus, there is insufficient evidence to support a chain of evidence to demonstrate an improvement in net health outcome.

Section Summary: Colorectal Lesions
Multiple studies have compared the accuracy of CLE with the histopathology for diagnosing colorectal lesions. In 3 published systematic reviews, pooled estimates of overall sensitivity of CLE ranged from 81% to 94%, and pooled estimates of the specificity ranged from 88% to 95%. Although the reported diagnostic accuracy tended to be relatively high, it is unclear whether the accuracy is high enough to replace biopsy/polypectomy and histologic analysis. Moreover, there are no controlled studies on the impact of using CLE on CRC incidence or mortality, and the available evidence is insufficient to support a chain of evidence.

Barrett Esophagus
This section addresses whether CLE can distinguish BE without dysplasia from BE with low- and high-grade dysplasia (HGD) and/or lead to fewer biopsies of benign tissue compared with surveillance with random biopsies. The ideal study to answer this question would include an unselected clinical population of patients with BE presenting for surveillance and would randomized patients to CLE with targeted biopsy or a standard biopsy protocol without CLE.

Clinically Valid
A test must detect the presence or absence of a condition, the risk of developing a condition in the future, or treatment response (beneficial or adverse).

Systematic Reviews
Xiong et al (2016) published a meta-analysis of prospective studies evaluating the diagnostic accuracy of CLE in patients with BE, using histopathologic analysis as the criterion standard.12 Studies were not required to compare CLE with standard 4-quadrant biopsy. Fourteen studies were included. In a pooled analysis 7 studies (n=473 patients) reporting a per-patient analysis, the sensitivity of CLE for detecting neoplasia was 89% (95% CI, 82% to 94%) and the specificity was 83% (95% CI, 78% to 86%). The pooled positive and negative likelihood ratios were 6.53 (95% CI, 3.12 to 13.4) and 0.17 (95% CI, 0.11 to 0.29), respectively. Reviewers did not report PPV or NPV. Moreover, they provided estimates of pretest probability to aid in the interpretation of the likelihood ratios (ie, to evaluate a person’s risk level before and after getting the test). Sensitivity and specificity were similar to those calculated in the Gupta systematic review (discussed below).

Gupta et al (2014) published a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies comparing the accuracy of CLE plus targeted biopsy with standard 4-quadrant biopsy in patients with BE.13 Reviewers noted that, according to the Preservation and Incorporation of Valuable Endoscopic Innovation Initiative of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, in order to replace the standard Seattle protocol, an alternative approach would need to have a per-patient sensitivity of at least 90%, specificity of at least 80%, and NPV of at least 98% for detecting HGD or esophageal adenocarcinoma compared with the current protocol.

Eight studies published through May 2014 met inclusion criteria; one was a parallel-group RCT, and one was a randomized crossover study. The other six were single- or double-blind nonrandomized comparative studies. Seven studies had data suitable for pooling on a per-lesion basis; together they included 345 patients and 3080 lesions. In a meta-analysis of the diagnosis of HGD or esophageal adenocarcinom, the pooled sensitivity was 68% (95% CI, 64% to 73%) and pooled specificity was 88% (95% CI, 87% to 89%). Four studies were included in the per-patient meta-analysis. The pooled sensitivity and specificity were 86% (95% CI, 74% to 96%) and 83% (95% CI, 77% to 88%), respectively. NPV (calculated using the sensitivity, specificity, and overall prevalence) was 96%. Thus, according to the criteria in the Preservation and Incorporation of Valuable Endoscopic Innovation Initiative, the diagnostic accuracy of CLE in the studies evaluated was not sufficiently high for this technique to replace the standard Seattle protocol. HGD and esophageal adenocarcinoma rates were much higher in the studies included in the meta-analysis than is generally seen in clinical practice and therefore diagnostic accuracy results should be interpreted cautiously.

Randomized Controlled Trials
Canto et al (2014) reported on a single-blind, multicenter trial conducted at academic centers with experienced endoscopists.14 It included consecutive patients undergoing endoscopy for routine BE surveillance or for suspected or known neoplasia. Patients were randomized to high-definition white-light endoscopy with random biopsy (n=98) or white-light endoscopy with endoscopy-based CLE and targeted biopsy (n=94). In the white-light endoscopy-only group, 4-quadrant random biopsies were taken every 1 to 2 cm over the entire length of the BE for patients undergoing surveillance and every 1 cm for patients with suspected neoplasia. In the CLE group, biopsy specimens were obtained only when there was CLE evidence of neoplasia. Final pathologic diagnosis was the reference standard. A per-patient analysis of diagnostic accuracy for diagnosing BE-related neoplasia found a sensitivity of 40% with white-light endoscopy only and 95% with white-light endoscopy plus CLE. Specificity was 98% with white-light endoscopy only and 92% with white-light endoscopy plus CLE. When the analysis was done on a per-biopsy specimen basis and when CLE was added, sensitivity was substantially higher, and specificity was slightly lower. The median number of biopsies per patient was significantly higher in the white-light endoscopy group (n=4) compared with the CLE group (n=2; p<0.001).

The investigators analyzed the number of cases in which CLE resulted in a different diagnosis. Thirty-two (34%) of 94 patients in the white-light plus CLE group had a correct change in dysplasia grade after CLE compared with initial endoscopic findings. Six (19%) of the 32 patients had lesions, and the remaining 26 did not. In 21 of the 26 patients without lesions, CLE changed the plan from biopsy to no biopsy. The remaining 62 (65%) of 94 patients in the white-light endoscopy plus CLE group had concordant diagnoses with both techniques. Because the trial was conducted at academic centers and used endoscopy-based CLE, findings may not be generalizable to other clinical settings or to probe-based CLE.

Sharma et al (2011) published an international, multicenter RCT that included 122 consecutive patients presenting for surveillance of BE or endoscopic treatment of HGD or early carcinoma.15 Patients were randomized to both standard white-light endoscopy and narrow-band imaging. Following these 2 examinations, done in a blinded fashion, the location of lesions was unblinded and, subsequently, all patients underwent probe-based CLE. All examinations involved a presumptive diagnosis of suspicious lesions. Also, in both groups, after all evaluations were performed, all suspicious lesions were biopsied, as well as random locations (4 quadrants every 2 cm). The histopathologic analysis was the reference standard. Twenty-one patients were excluded from the analysis. Of the remaining 101 patients, 66 (65%) were found on histopathologic analysis to have no dysplasia, 4 (4%) had low-grade dysplasia, 6 (6%) had HGD, and 25 (25%) had early carcinoma. Sensitivity of CLE plus white-light endoscopy for detecting HGD or early carcinoma was 68.3% (95% CI, 60.0% to 76.7%), which was significantly higher than white-light endoscopy alone (34.2%; 95% CI, 25.7% to 42.7%; p=0.002). However, specificity of CLE plus white-light endoscopy was significantly lower (87.8%; 95% CI, 85.5% to 90.1%) than white-light endoscopy alone (92.7%; 95% CI, 90.8% to 94.6%; p<0.001). For white-light endoscopy alone, the PPV was 42.7% (95% CI, 32.8% to 52.6%) and NPV was 89.8% (95% CI, 87.7% to 92.0%). For white-light endoscopy with probe-based CLE, the PPV was 47.1% (95% CI, 39.7% to 54.5%) and NPV was 94.6% (95% CI, 92.9% to 96.2%). White-light endoscopy alone missed 79 (66%) of 120 areas with HGD or early carcinoma, and white-light endoscopy plus CLE missed 38 (32%) areas. On a per-patient basis, 31 patients were diagnosed with HGD or early carcinoma. White-light endoscopy alone failed to identify 4 of these patients (sensitivity, 87%), whereas white-light endoscopy plus CLE failed to identify 2 patients (sensitivity, 93.5%).

A single-center crossover RCT was published by Dunbar et al (2009).16 Forty-six patients with BE were enrolled, and 39 (95%) completed the study protocol. Of these, 23 were undergoing BE surveillance, and 16 had BE with suspected neoplasia. All patients received endoscopy-based CLE and standard endoscopy, in random order. One endoscopist performed all CLE procedures, and another endoscopist performed all standard endoscopy procedures; endoscopists were blinded to the finding of the other procedure. During the standard endoscopy procedure, biopsies were taken of any discrete lesions followed by 4-quadrant random biopsy (every 1 cm for suspected neoplasia, every 2 cm for BE surveillance). During the CLE procedure, only lesions suspicious of neoplasia were biopsied. Endoscopists interpreted CLE images using the Confocal Barrett’s Classification system, developed in a previous research study. Histopathologic analysis was the reference standard. Among the 16 study completers with suspected high-risk dysplasia, there were significantly fewer biopsies per patient with CLE (mean, 9.8 biopsies per patient) than with standard endoscopy (mean, 23.9 biopsies per patient; p=0.002). Although there were fewer biopsies, the mean number of biopsy specimens showing HGD or cancer was similar in the 2 groups (3.1 during CLE vs 3.7 during standard endoscopy). The diagnostic yield for neoplasia was 33.7% with CLE and 17.2% with standard endoscopy. None of the 23 patients undergoing BE for surveillance had HGD or cancer. The mean number of mucosal specimens obtained for patients in this group was 12.6 with white-light endoscopy and 1.7 with CLE (p<0.001).

Clinically Useful
A test is clinically useful if the use of the results informs management decisions that improve the net health outcome of care. The net health outcome can be improved if patients receive correct therapy, or more effective therapy, or avoid unnecessary therapy, or avoid unnecessary testing.

Direct Evidence
Direct evidence of clinical utility is provided by studies that have compared health outcomes for patients managed with and without the test. Because these are intervention studies, the preferred evidence would be from RCTs.

No RCTs assessing the clinical utility of CLE to distinguish BE without dysplasia from BE with low-grade dysplasia or HGD were identified.

Chain of Evidence
Indirect evidence on clinical utility rests on clinical validity. If the evidence is insufficient to demonstrate test performance, no inferences can be made about clinical utility.

Because the clinical validity of CLE has not been established for this indication, a chain of evidence cannot be constructed.

Section Summary: Barrett Esophagus
Several RCTs and nonrandomized comparative studies have evaluated CLE for detecting dysplasia and neoplasia in patients with BE. A 2014 meta-analysis found that the pooled sensitivity, specificity, and NPV of available studies were not sufficiently high to replace the standard Seattle protocol, according to criteria adopted by the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. There are limited data comparing standard protocols using random biopsies with protocols using CLE and targeted biopsies; therefore, data are inconclusive on the potential for CLE to reduce the number of biopsies in patients with BE undergoing surveillance without compromising diagnostic accuracy. Moreover, studies do not appear to have used a consistent approach to classifying lesions as dysplastic using CLE.

Adequacy of Endoscopic Treatment of Gastrointestinal Lesions
This section addresses whether the use of CLE improves the detection of residual disease compared with conventional techniques (ie, white-light endoscopy).

Clinically Valid
A test must detect the presence or absence of a condition, the risk of developing a condition in the future, or treatment response (beneficial or adverse).

Systematic Reviews
Ypsilantis et al (2015) published a systematic review that included retrospective and prospective studies reporting the diagnostic accuracy of CLE for the detection of residual disease after endoscopic mucosal resection of gastrointestinal lesions.17 After examining full-text articles, 3 studies (1 RCT, 2 prospective, nonrandomized comparative studies) met the eligibility criteria. Studies included patients with BE, gastric neoplasia, and colorectal neoplasia. There was significant heterogeneity among studies. In a per-lesion meta-analysis, pooled sensitivity of CLE for detecting neoplasia was 91% (95% CI, 83% to 96%) and pooled specificity was 69% (95% CI, 61% to 76%). Based on the small number of studies and heterogeneity among studies, reviewers concluded that the evidence on the utility of CLE in assessing the adequacy of endoscopic mucosal resection was weak.

Randomized Controlled Trials
The single RCT in the Ypsilantis review was published by Wallace et al (2012).18 This multicenter trial included patients with BE who were undergoing ablation. After an initial attempt at ablation, patients were randomized to follow-up with high-definition white-light endoscopy or high-definition white-light endoscopy plus CLE. The primary outcome was the proportion of optimally treated patients, defined as those with no evidence of disease at follow-up, and those with residual disease who were identified and treated. Trial enrollment was halted after an interim analysis showed no difference between groups and higher than expected residual BE in both arms. Among the 119 patients enrolled at the interim analysis, 15 (26%) of 57 in the high-definition white-light endoscopy group and 17 (27%) of 62 in the high-definition white-light endoscopy plus CLE group were optimally treated; the difference was not statistically significant. Moreover, other outcomes were similar in the 2 groups.

Clinically Useful
A test is clinically useful if the use of the results informs management decisions that improve the net health outcome of care. The net health outcome can be improved if patients receive correct therapy, or more effective therapy, or avoid unnecessary therapy, or avoid unnecessary testing.

Direct Evidence
Direct evidence of clinical utility is provided by studies that have compared health outcomes for patients managed with and without the test. Because these are intervention studies, the preferred evidence would be from RCTs.

No RCTs assessing the clinical utility of CLE to improve the treatment assessment of gastrointestinal lesions were identified.

Chain of Evidence
Indirect evidence on clinical utility rests on clinical validity. If the evidence is insufficient to demonstrate test performance, no inferences can be made about clinical utility.

Because the clinical validity of CLE has not been established for this indication, a chain of evidence cannot be constructed.

Section Summary: Adequacy of Endoscopic Treatment of Gastrointestinal Lesions
There is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that CLE improves on standard practice for assessing the adequacy of endoscopic treatment of gastrointestinal lesions. The single RCT on this topic was stopped early because an interim analysis found that CLE did not improve on high-definition white-light endoscopy.

Other Potential Applications of CLE
Studies have evaluated CLE for diagnosing a variety of conditions, including lung cancer,19,20,21 bladder cancer,22,23 head and neck cancer,24,25 esophageal cancer,26,27 atrophic gastritis,28 gastric cancer,29,30 pancreatic cysts,31,32 breast surgery,33 and biliary strictures.34 These studies, mostly pilot feasibility studies and diagnostic accuracy studies, are insufficient to determine the accuracy of CLE and its potential role in clinical care for patients with these conditions.

Summary of Evidence
For individuals who have suspected or known colorectal lesions who receive CLE as an adjunct to colonoscopy, the evidence includes multiple diagnostic accuracy studies. Relevant outcomes are overall survival, disease-specific survival, test validity, and resource utilization. While the reported sensitivity and specificity in these studies are high, it is uncertain whether the accuracy is sufficiently high to replace biopsy/polypectomy and histopathologic analysis. Moreover, issues remain concerning the use of this technology in clinical practice (eg, the learning curve, interpretation of lesions). The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes.

For individuals who have Barrett esophagus who are undergoing surveillance who receive CLE with targeted biopsy, the evidence includes several RCTs and a meta-analysis. Relevant outcomes are overall survival, disease-specific survival, test validity, and resource utilization. Evidence from RCTs has suggested CLE is more sensitive than standard endoscopy for identifying areas of dysplasia. However, a 2014 meta-analysis found that the pooled sensitivity, specificity, and negative predictive value of available studies were not sufficiently high to replace the standard surveillance protocol. National guidelines continue to recommend 4-quadrant random biopsies for patients with Barrett esophagus undergoing surveillance. The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes.

For individuals who have gastrointestinal lesions and have had endoscopic treatment who receive CLE to assess adequacy of endoscopic treatment, the evidence includes an RCT and a systematic review. Relevant outcomes are overall survival, disease-specific survival, test validity, and resource utilization. The single RCT, which compared high-definition white-light endoscopy with high-definition white-light endoscopy plus CLE, was stopped early because an interim analysis did not find a between-group difference in outcomes. The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes.

For individuals who have a suspicion of a condition diagnosed by identification and biopsy of lesions (eg, lung, bladder, or gastric cancer) who receive CLE, the evidence includes a small number of diagnostic accuracy studies. Relevant outcomes are overall survival, disease-specific survival, test validity, and resource utilization. There is limited evidence on the diagnostic accuracy of CLE for these other indications. The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes.

Practice Guidelines and Position Statements
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
In 2006 (reaffirmed in 2011), the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy published guidelines on the role of endoscopy in the surveillance of premalignant conditions of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract.35,36 Regarding the use of confocal endoscopy as an adjunct to white-light endoscopy, the guidelines stated that this technique is “still in development.” The guidelines also included the following statements on surveillance of patients with Barrett esophagus:

  1. “The cost effectiveness of surveillance in patients without dysplasia is controversial. Surveillance endoscopy is appropriate for patients fit to undergo therapy, should endoscopic/histologic findings dictate. For patients with established Barrett's esophagus of any length and with no dysplasia, after 2 consecutive examinations within 1 year, an acceptable interval for additional surveillance is every 3 years.”
  2. “Patients with high-grade dysplasia are at significant risk for prevalent or incident cancer. Patients who are surgical candidates may elect to have definitive therapy. Patients who elect surveillance endoscopy should undergo follow-up every 3 months for at least 1 year, with multiple large capacity biopsy specimens obtained at 1 cm intervals. After 1 year of no cancer detection, the interval of surveillance may be lengthened if there are no dysplastic changes on 2 subsequent endoscopies performed at 3-month intervals. High-grade dysplasia should be confirmed by an expert GI pathologist.”
  3. “Surveillance in patients with low-grade dysplasia is recommended. The significance of low-grade dysplasia as a risk factor for cancer remains poorly defined; therefore, the optimal interval and biopsy protocol has not been established. A follow-up EGD [screening esophagogastroduodenoscopy] (i.e., at 6 months) should be performed with concentrated biopsies in the area of dysplasia. If low-grade dysplasia is confirmed, then one possible management scheme would be surveillance at 12 months and yearly thereafter as long as dysplasia persists.”

The Society published a technology status evaluation on confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) in 2014.35 It concluded that CLE is an emerging technology with the potential to improve patient care. However, before it can be widely accepted, further studies are needed in the following areas:

  1. “[T]he applicability and practicality of CLE, especially in community settings [because the research has been done] primarily in academic centers.”
  2. The “learning curve of CLE image interpretation … and additional time needed to perform the procedure….”
  3. The clinical efficacy of the technology … compared to other available advanced imaging technologies….”
  4. Improvements in CLE imaging and image interpretation….”

American Gastroenterological Association
In 2011, the American Gastroenterological Association published a position statement on the management of Barrett esophagus.1 The statement included the following recommendations on endoscopic surveillance of Barrett esophagus (see Table 1).

Table 1. Recommendations on Endoscopic Surveillance of Barrett Esophagus 

Recommendation

LOR

QOE

"The guideline developers suggest that endoscopic surveillance be performed in patients with Barrett’s esophagus."

Weak

Moderate

"The guideline developers suggest the following surveillance intervals:

  • No dysplasia: 3-5 years
  • Low-grade dysplasia: 6-12 months
  • High-grade dysplasia in the absence of eradication therapy: 3 months"

Weak

Low

"For patients with Barrett’s esophagus who are undergoing surveillance, the guideline developers recommend:

  • Endoscopic evaluation be performed using white-light endoscopy.
  • 4-quadrant biopsy specimens be taken every 2 cm.
  • Specific biopsy specimens of any mucosal irregularities be submitted separately to the pathologist.
  • 4-quadrant biopsy specimens be obtained every 1 cm in patients with known or suspected dysplasia."

 

 

Strong

Strong

Strong

Strong

 

 

Moderate

Moderate

Moderate

Moderate

The guideline developers suggest against requiring chromoendoscopy or advanced imaging techniques for the routine surveillance of patients with Barrett’s esophagus at this time."

Weak

 

Low

LOR: level of recommendation; QOE: quality of evidence.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations on colorectal cancer screening do not mention CLE.37

Ongoing and Unpublished Clinical Trials
Currently ongoing and unpublished trials that might influence this review are listed in Table 2.

Table 2. Summary of Key Trials

NCT No.

Trial Name

Planned Enrollment

Completion Date

Ongoing

 

 

 

NCT02552004

Assessment of Intraoperative Probe-based Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy in Digestive and Endocrine Surgery: a Pilot Study (Pilot pCLE)

30

Dec 2018

NCT02922049

Probe-Based Confocal Laser Microendoscopy in Accurate Histopathologic Diagnosis of Neoplastic Gastrointestinal Lesion

80

Apr 2020

Unpublished

 

 

 

NCT03013894

Feasibility of Confocal Laser Microendoscopy in Bladder Cancer Diagnosis

60

Oct 2017
(completed)

NCT02672774

Study of Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Imaging Methods for the Evaluation of Neoangiogenesis in Gastrointestinal Cancers

50

Sep 2017
(unknown)

NCT02799420

Role of Probe-based Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy Targeted Biopsy in the Molecular Study of Undifferentiated Gastric Cancer

74

Sep 2017
(completed)

NCT02930616

A Comparison of pCLE Based Targeted Biopsy and WLE Based Standard Biopsy in Staging the Operative Link on Gastric Intestinal Metaplasia (OLGIM): A Randomized Cross-over Study

40

Jun 2017

NCT01887509

Evaluation of Rectal Tumor Margin Using Confocal Endomicroscopy and Comparison to Histopathology

21

Oct 2016(terminated)

NCT02632682

Real-Time Diagnosis of Barrett’s Esophagus: Comparing Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy with Conventional Histology for the Identification of Specialized Intestinal Metaplasia

172

Sep 2016
(completed)

NCT01931579

Assessment of the Probe-Based Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy for In-vivo Diagnosis of Peripheral Lung Nodules and Masses (NODIVEM Study)

120

Jun 2016
(completed)

NCT02515721

PCLE for the Diagnosis of Gastric Intestinal Metaplasia, Intraepithelial Neoplasia, and Carcinoma

242

Aug 2015 (unknown)

NCT: national clinical trial. 

References

  1. American Gastroenterological Association, Spechler SJ, Sharma P, et al. American Gastroenterological Association medical position statement on the management of Barrett's esophagus. Gastroenterology. Mar 2011;140(3):1084-1091. PMID 21376940
  2. Salvatori F, Siciliano S, Maione F, et al. Confocal laser endomicroscopy in the study of colonic mucosa in IBD patients: a review. Gastroenterol Res Pract. Apr 2012;2012:525098. PMID 22474440
  3. Neumann H, Vieth M, Atreya R, et al. Prospective evaluation of the learning curve of confocal laser endomicroscopy in patients with IBD. Histol Histopathol. Jul 2011;26(7):867-872. PMID 21630216
  4. Buchner AM, Gomez V, Heckman MG, et al. The learning curve of in vivo probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy for prediction of colorectal neoplasia. Gastrointest Endosc. Mar 2011;73(3):556-560. PMID 21353852
  5. Su P, Liu Y, Lin S, et al. Efficacy of confocal laser endomicroscopy for discriminating colorectal neoplasms from non-neoplasms: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Colorectal Dis. Jan 2013;15(1):e1-12. PMID 23006609
  6. Dong YY, Li YQ, Yu YB, et al. Meta-analysis of confocal laser endomicroscopy for the detection of colorectal neoplasia. Colorectal Dis. Sep 2013;15(9):e488-495. PMID 23810105
  7. Wanders LK, East JE, Uitentuis SE, et al. Diagnostic performance of narrowed spectrum endoscopy, autofluorescence imaging, and confocal laser endomicroscopy for optical diagnosis of colonic polyps: a meta-analysis. Lancet Oncol. Dec 2013;14(13):1337-1347. PMID 24239209
  8. Xie XJ, Li CQ, Zuo XL, et al. Differentiation of colonic polyps by confocal laser endomicroscopy. Endoscopy. Feb 2011;43(2):87-93. PMID 21038291
  9. Buchner AM, Shahid MW, Heckman MG, et al. Comparison of probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy with virtual chromoendoscopy for classification of colon polyps. Gastroenterology. Mar 2010;138(3):834-842. PMID 19909747
  10. Shahid MW, Buchner AM, Raimondo M, et al. Accuracy of real-time vs. blinded offline diagnosis of neoplastic colorectal polyps using probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy: a pilot study. Endoscopy. Apr 2012;44(4):343-348. PMID 22382851
  11. Hlavaty T, Huorka M, Koller T, et al. Colorectal cancer screening in patients with ulcerative and Crohn's colitis with use of colonoscopy, chromoendoscopy and confocal endomicroscopy. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. Aug 2011;23(8):680-689. PMID 21602687
  12. Xiong YQ, Ma SJ, Zhou JH, et al. A meta-analysis of confocal laser endomicroscopy for the detection of neoplasia in patients with Barrett's esophagus. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. Jun 2016;31(6):1102-1110. PMID 26676646
  13. Gupta A, Attar BM, Koduru P, et al. Utility of confocal laser endomicroscopy in identifying high-grade dysplasia and adenocarcinoma in Barrett's esophagus: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. Apr 2014;26(4):369-377. PMID 24535597
  14. Canto MI, Anandasabapathy S, Brugge W, et al. In vivo endomicroscopy improves detection of Barrett's esophagus-related neoplasia: a multicenter international randomized controlled trial (with video). Gastrointest Endosc. Feb 2014;79(2):211-221. PMID 24219822
  15. Sharma P, Meining AR, Coron E, et al. Real-time increased detection of neoplastic tissue in Barrett's esophagus with probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy: final results of an international multicenter, prospective, randomized, controlled trial. Gastrointest Endosc. Sep 2011;74(3):465-472. PMID 21741642
  16. Dunbar KB, Okolo P, 3rd, Montgomery E, et al. Confocal laser endomicroscopy in Barrett's esophagus and endoscopically inapparent Barrett's neoplasia: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, controlled, crossover trial. Gastrointest Endosc. Oct 2009;70(4):645-654. PMID 19559419
  17. Ypsilantis E, Pissas D, Papagrigoriadis S, et al. Use of confocal laser endomicroscopy to assess the adequacy of endoscopic treatment of gastrointestinal neoplasia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Surg Laparosc Endosc Percutan Tech. Feb 2015;25(1):1-5. PMID 24910941
  18. Wallace MB, Crook JE, Saunders M, et al. Multicenter, randomized, controlled trial of confocal laser endomicroscopy assessment of residual metaplasia after mucosal ablation or resection of GI neoplasia in Barrett's esophagus. Gastrointest Endosc. Sep 2012;76(3):539-547 e531. PMID 22749368
  19. Sorokina A, Danilevskaya O, Averyanov A, et al. Comparative study of ex vivo probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy and light microscopy in lung cancer diagnostics. Respirology. Aug 2014;19(6):907-913. PMID 24909555
  20. Wellikoff AS, Holladay RC, Downie GH, et al. Comparison of in vivo probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy with histopathology in lung cancer: A move toward optical biopsy. Respirology. Aug 2015;20(6):967-974. PMID 26094505
  21. Fuchs FS, Zirlik S, Hildner K, et al. Confocal laser endomicroscopy for diagnosing lung cancer in vivo. Eur Respir J. Jun 2013;41(6):1401-1408. PMID 22997220
  22. Sonn GA, Jones SN, Tarin TV, et al. Optical biopsy of human bladder neoplasia with in vivo confocal laser endomicroscopy. J Urol. Oct 2009;182(4):1299-1305. PMID 19683270
  23. Liu JJ, Droller MJ, Liao JC. New optical imaging technologies for bladder cancer: considerations and perspectives. J Urol. Aug 2012;188(2):361-368. PMID 22698620
  24. Nathan CA, Kaskas NM, Ma X, et al. Confocal laser endomicroscopy in the detection of head and neck precancerous lesions. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Apr 3 2014;151(1):73-80. PMID 24699456
  25. Moore C, Mehta V, Ma X, et al. Interobserver agreement of confocal laser endomicroscopy for detection of head and neck neoplasia. Laryngoscope. Mar 2016;126(3):632-637. PMID 26372409
  26. Liu J, Li M, Li Z, et al. Learning curve and interobserver agreement of confocal laser endomicroscopy for detecting precancerous or early-stage esophageal squamous cancer. PLoS One. Jun 2014;9(6):e99089. PMID 24897112
  27. Guo J, Li CQ, Li M, et al. Diagnostic value of probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy and high- definition virtual chromoendoscopy in early esophageal squamous neoplasia. Gastrointest Endosc. Jun 2015;81(6):1346-1354. PMID 25680899
  28. Liu T, Zheng H, Gong W, et al. The accuracy of confocal laser endomicroscopy, narrow band imaging, and chromoendoscopy for the detection of atrophic gastritis. J Clin Gastroenterol. May-Jun 2015;49(5):379-386. PMID 25485568
  29. He XK, Liu D, Sun LM. Diagnostic performance of confocal laser endomicroscopy for optical diagnosis of gastric intestinal metaplasia: a meta-analysis. BMC Gastroenterol. Sep 05 2016;16:109. PMID 27596838
  30. Qian W, Bai T, Wang H, et al. Meta-analysis of confocal laser endomicroscopy for the diagnosis of gastric neoplasia and adenocarcinoma. J Dig Dis. Jun 2016;17(6):366-376. PMID 27129127
  31. Karia K, Waxman I, Konda VJ, et al. Needle-based confocal endomicroscopy for pancreatic cysts: the current agreement in interpretation. Gastrointest Endosc. May 2016;83(5):924-927. PMID 26382051
  32. Napoleon B, Lemaistre AI, Pujol B, et al. In vivo characterization of pancreatic cystic lesions by needle-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (nCLE): proposition of a comprehensive nCLE classification confirmed by an external retrospective evaluation. Surg Endosc. Jun 2016;30(6):2603-2612. PMID 26428198
  33. De Palma GD, Esposito D, Luglio G, et al. Confocal laser endomicroscopy in breast surgery: a pilot study. BMC Cancer. Apr 10 2015;15:252. PMID 25885686
  34. Slivka A, Gan I, Jamidar P, et al. Validation of the diagnostic accuracy of probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy for the characterization of indeterminate biliary strictures: results of a prospective multicenter international study. Gastrointest Endosc. Feb 2015;81(2):282-290. PMID 25616752
  35. ASGE Technology Committee. Confocal laser endomicroscopy. Gastrointest Endosc. Dec 2014;80(6):928-938. PMID 25442092
  36. Hirota WK, Zuckerman MJ, Adler DG, et al. ASGE guideline: the role of endoscopy in the surveillance of premalignant conditions of the upper GI tract. Gastrointest Endosc. Apr 2006;63(4):570-580. PMID 16564854
  37. Lin JS, Piper MA, Perdue LA, et al. Screening for colorectal cancer: updated evidence report and systematic review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. JAMA. Jun 21 2016;315(23):2576-2594. PMID 27305422

Coding Section

Codes Number Description
CPT 43206

Esophagoscopy, flexible, transoral; with optical endomicroscopy

  43252

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, flexible, transoral; with optical endomicroscopy

  88375

Optical endomicroscopic image(s), interpretation and report, real-time or referred, each endoscopic session.

  0397T 

 

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), with optical endomicroscopy (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure) 

ICD-9-CM Diagnosis  

Investigational for all relevant diagnoses

ICD-10-CM (effective 10/01/15)

 

Investigational for all relevant diagnoses

 

K22.70-K22.719

Barrett's esophagus code range

 

Z13.810

Encounter for screening for upper gastrointestinal disorder

 

Z13.811

Encounter for screening for lower gastrointestinal disorder

 

Z13.83

Encounter for screening for respiratory disorder NEC

ICD-10-PCS (effective 10/01/15)  

ICD-10-PCS codes are only used for inpatient services. There is no specific ICD-10-PCS code for the use of this technology.

Type of Service    
Place of Service    

Procedure and diagnosis codes on Medical Policy documents are included only as a general reference tool for each policy. They may not be all-inclusive.

This medical policy was developed through consideration of peer-reviewed medical literature generally recognized by the relevant medical community, U.S. FDA approval status, nationally accepted standards of medical practice and accepted standards of medical practice in this community, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association technology assessment program (TEC) and other non-affiliated technology evaluation centers, reference to federal regulations, other plan medical policies and accredited national guidelines.

"Current Procedural Terminology© American Medical Association.  All Rights Reserved" 

History From 2014 Forward     

06/01/2019 

Annual review, no change to policy intent. Updating rationale and references. 

06/14/2018 

Annual review, no change to policy intent. Updating rationale and references. 

06/13/2017 

Annual review, no change to policy intent. Updating background, description, rationale and references. 

06/02/2016 

Annual review, no change to policy intent. Updating background, description, guidelines (to add new coding), rationale, references and coding. 

06/16/2015 

Annual review, no change to policy intent. Updated background, description, rationale and references. Added guidelines and coding. 

06/05/2014

Annual review. Updated background, rationale and references. Added related policies. 


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