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Virtual endoscopy (VE) is a new evolving technology that describes the 3-D reconstruction of medical image scans to create a visualization similar to that produced by fiber-optic and video endoscopy. The present study was carried out to establish the feasibility of this technique in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Ten patients who underwent upper endoscopy for different clinical reasons and who were found to have a normal or near normal examination underwent a spiral computed tomography scan of the lower chest and abdomen. A 3-D image was reconstructed using the Freeflight software. The anatomy of the stomach including the lumen, the cardia, the pylorus, gastric folds and the incisura angularis were well-visualized. It was not possible to visualize the esophagus by VE because the lumen was unable to be kept patent long enough to provide accurate imaging. The present preliminary study has demonstrated the feasibility of performing virtual gastroscopy. Further development in this area is needed before any routine clinical application.


Dina Ezzeddine, Bilal Ezzeddine, Richard McKenzie, Manoop S Bhutani. Virtual gastroscopy: initial attempt in North American patients. Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology. 2006 Jan;21(1 Pt 2):219-21

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PMID: 16460476

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