Patients with Barrett's esophagus (BE) undergo periodic endoscopic surveillance with multiple biopsy examinations in an attempt to identify dysplastic and early cancerous lesions at a time when intervention can be beneficial. However, this surveillance approach is hindered by low sampling yield, random sampling error, pathology-associated costs, and delay in diagnosis. Optical spectroscopy offers the potential to identify tissue pathology accurately in real time. The technique uses diagnostic molecular and/or microstructural information contained in light-tissue interactions such as fluorescence, elastic scattering, and inelastic (Raman) scattering. As an adjunct to endoscopy, optical spectroscopy has the capacity to enhance lesion detection in premalignant conditions such as BE. This article highlights the current status and future prospects of optical spectroscopy in BE.
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