In Barrett's esophagus (BE), second-generation autofluorescence imaging (AFI-II) improves targeted detection of high-grade intra-epithelial neoplasia (HGIN) and early cancer (EC), yet suffers from high false-positive (FP) rates. The newest generation AFI (AFI-III) specifically targets fluorescence in malignant cells and may therefore improve detection of early neoplasia and reduce FP rate. The aim was to compare AFI-III with AFI-II for endoscopic detection of early neoplasia in BE. BE patients with endoscopically inconspicuous neoplasia underwent two diagnostic endoscopies (AFI-II/AFI-III) in a single session. End-points: number of patients and lesions with HGIN/EC detected with AFI-II and AFI-III after white-light endoscopy (WLE) and the value of reinspection of AFI-positive areas with WLE and narrow-band imaging. Forty-five patients were included (38 males, age 65 years). Nineteen patients showed HGIN/EC. AFI-II inspection after WLE increased detection of HGIN/EC from 9 to 15 patients (47 to 79%); AFI-III increased detection from 9 to 17 patients (47 to 89%). WLE plus random biopsies diagnosed 13/19 (68%) HGIN/EC patients. One hundred and four abnormal AFI areas were inspected; 23 (22%) showed HGIN/EC. AFI-II increased detection of HGIN/EC from 10 to 18 lesions (43 to 78%). AFI-III increased detection from 10 to 20 lesions (43-87%). FP rate was 86% for AFI-II and AFI-III. Reinspection with WLE or narrow-band imaging reduced FP rate to 21% and 22%, respectively, but misclassified HGIN/EC lesions as unsuspicious in 54% and 31%, respectively. This first feasibility study on third-generation AFI again showed improved targeted detection of HGIN/EC in BE. However, the results do not suggest AFI-III performs significantly better than conventional AFI-II.
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