Application of Spectral Cytopathology as an Early Diagnostic Tool for Barrett’s Esophagus

Abstract

Spectral Cytopathology, which couples Infrared micro-spectroscopy with unsupervised multivariate statistical methods is an increasingly accurate and growing optical method for detecting subtle biochemical and molecular changes within cells for the purpose of providing earlier and more precise diagnostic information for cytologists. With the use of computer based algorithms it is possible to accurately identify and classify distinct spectral changes within individual cells. These subtle molecular changes are able to be observed before morphological changes become apparent, which allows us to provide information to cytologists so that earlier treatment/diagnosis is possible. BarrettÍs Esophagus is considered to be a premalignant condition in which the lining of the esophagus changes to a type of lining that is usually found in the intestines (referred to as metaplasia). BarrettÍs Esophagus is commonly accompanied by patients who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)- a chronic regurgitation of acid from the stomach into the lower esophagus. Clinical studies have shown that the presence of BarrettÍs Esophagus is associated with increased risk of developing adenocarcinoma. Preliminary results showing the effectiveness of Spectral Cytopathology as a diagnostic tool to distinguish between samples containing normal squamous cells, cells with BarrettÍs Esophagus, and cells with Barrett’s Esophagus possibly with dysplasia are presented in this poster.