The Appreciation Of Color In Endoscopy

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Baillieres Clinical Gastroenterology


The perception of colour at endoscopy has been taken for granted since the discovery of the fibreoptic bundle and the advent of fibreoptic endoscopy. Fibreoptic and lens assemblies can distort the impression of colour by selectively absorbing some wavelengths of light. In the case of electronic endoscopes, the principal sensor is the charge-coupled device (CCD), a small microelectronic device that converts an image into a sequence of electronic signals which, after appropriate processing, are transformed into an image on the monitor screen. The image is therefore visualized as a mosaic of small images, one from each sensing element. Colour is synthesized by using sequential illumination using filters or by filters placed over the CCD. Fibre-endoscopes may alter colour by selectively transmitting certain portions of the visible spectrum, while electronic endoscopes are susceptible to errors due to poor calibration of the instrument and manipulation of the colour controls by endoscopists. Colour information provides the endoscopist with clues to the nature of the lesion and also a site for biopsy. In experimental situations, colour information has been used to determine blood flow and classify lesions. Much work needs to be done to define normal and abnormal colour in the gastrointestinal tract and to develop a standard terminology for colour nomenclature in endoscopy.

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