Publications by authors named "Raf Bisschops"

166 Publications

ESGE quality parameters in colonoscopy: How to ensure their adoption?

Endosc Int Open 2021 Oct 16;9(10):E1463-E1465. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

Gastroenterology Department, Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto, Porto, Portugal.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1486-6788DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8445679PMC
October 2021

Endoscopic tissue sampling - Part 1: Upper gastrointestinal and hepatopancreatobiliary tracts. European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) Guideline.

Endoscopy 2021 Sep 17. Epub 2021 Sep 17.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

1: ESGE recommends that, where there is a suspicion of eosinophilic esophagitis, at least six biopsies should be taken, two to four biopsies from the distal esophagus and two to four biopsies from the proximal esophagus, targeting areas with endoscopic mucosal abnormalities. Distal and proximal biopsies should be placed in separate containers.Strong recommendation, low quality of evidence. 2: ESGE recommends obtaining six biopsies, including from the base and edge of the esophageal ulcers, for histologic analysis in patients with suspected viral esophagitis.Strong recommendation, low quality of evidence. 3: ESGE recommends at least six biopsies are taken in cases of suspected advanced esophageal cancer and suspected advanced gastric cancer.Strong recommendation, moderate quality of evidence. 4: ESGE recommends taking only one to two targeted biopsies for lesions in the esophagus or stomach that are potentially amenable to endoscopic resection (Paris classification 0-I, 0-II) in order to confirm the diagnosis and not compromise subsequent endoscopic resection.Strong recommendation, low quality of evidence. 5: ESGE recommends obtaining two biopsies from the antrum and two from the corpus in patients with suspected infection and for gastritis staging.Strong recommendation, low quality of evidence. 6: ESGE recommends biopsies from or, if endoscopically resectable, resection of gastric adenomas.Strong recommendation, moderate quality of evidence. 7: ESGE recommends fine-needle aspiration (FNA) and fine-needle biopsy (FNB) needles equally for sampling of solid pancreatic masses.Strong recommendation, high quality evidence. 8: ESGE suggests performing peroral cholangioscopy (POC) and/or endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-guided tissue acquisition in indeterminate biliary strictures. For proximal and intrinsic strictures, POC is preferred. For distal and extrinsic strictures, EUS-guided sampling is preferred, with POC where this is not diagnostic.Weak recommendation, low quality evidence. 9: ESGE suggests obtaining possible non-neoplastic biopsies before sampling suspected malignant lesions to prevent intraluminal spread of malignant disease.Weak recommendation, low quality of evidence. 10: ESGE suggests dividing EUS-FNA material into smears (two per pass) and liquid-based cytology (LBC), or the whole of the EUS-FNA material can be processed as LBC, depending on local experience.Weak recommendation, low quality evidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1611-5091DOI Listing
September 2021

Curriculum for ERCP and endoscopic ultrasound training in Europe: European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) Position Statement.

Endoscopy 2021 10 26;53(10):1071-1087. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospitals Leuven, and TARGID, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

The European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) has recognized the need to formalize and enhance training in endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS). This manuscript represents the outcome of a formal Delphi process resulting in an official Position Statement of the ESGE and provides a framework to develop and maintain skills in ERCP and EUS. This curriculum is set out in terms of the prerequisites prior to training; recommended steps of training to a defined syllabus; the quality of training; and how competence should be defined and evidenced before independent practice. 1: Trainees should be competent in gastroscopy prior to commencing training. Formal training courses and the use of simulation in training are recommended. 2: Trainees should keep a contemporaneous logbook of their procedures, including key performance indicators and the degree of independence. Structured formative assessment is encouraged to enhance feedback. There should be a summative assessment process prior to commencing independent practice to ensure there is robust evidence of competence. This evidence should include a review of a trainee's procedure volume and current performance measures. A period of mentoring is strongly recommended in the early stages of independent practice. 3: Specifically for ERCP, all trainees should be competent up to Schutz level 2 complexity (management of distal biliary strictures and stones > 10 mm), with advanced ERCP requiring a further period of training. Prior to independent practice, ESGE recommends that a trainee can evidence a procedure volume of > 300 cases, a native papilla cannulation rate of ≥ 80 % (90 % after a period of mentored independent practice), complete stones clearance of ≥ 85 %, and successful stenting of distal biliary strictures of ≥ 90 % (90 % and 95 % respectively after a mentored period of independent practice). 4: The progression of EUS training and competence attainment should start from diagnostic EUS and then proceed to basic therapeutic EUS, and finally to advanced therapeutic EUS. Before independent practice, ESGE recommends that a trainee can evidence a procedure volume of > 250 cases (75 fine-needle aspirations/biopsies [FNA/FNBs]), satisfactory visualization of key anatomical landmarks in ≥ 90 % of cases, and an FNA/FNB accuracy rate of ≥ 85 %. ESGE recognizes the often inadequate quality of the evidence and the need for further studies pertaining to training in advanced endoscopy, particularly in relation to therapeutic EUS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1537-8999DOI Listing
October 2021

Pitfalls in training and validation of deep learning systems.

Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol 2021 Jun-Aug;52-53:101712. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospitals Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000, Leuven, Belgium; Department of Translational Research in Gastrointestinal Diseases (TARGID), Catholic University Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000, Leuven, Belgium. Electronic address:

The number of publications in endoscopic journals that present deep learning applications has risen tremendously over the past years. Deep learning has shown great promise for automated detection, diagnosis and quality improvement in endoscopy. However, the interdisciplinary nature of these works has undoubtedly made it more difficult to estimate their value and applicability. In this review, the pitfalls and common misconducts when training and validating deep learning systems are discussed and some practical guidelines are proposed that should be taken into account when acquiring data and handling it to ensure an unbiased system that will generalize for application in routine clinical practice. Finally, some considerations are presented to ensure correct validation and comparison of AI systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpg.2020.101712DOI Listing
July 2021

Linked Colour imaging for the detection of polyps in patients with Lynch syndrome: a multicentre, parallel randomised controlled trial.

Gut 2021 Mar 18. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Amsterdam UMC Location AMC, Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands

Objective: Despite regular colonoscopy surveillance, colorectal cancers still occur in patients with Lynch syndrome. Thus, detection of all relevant precancerous lesions remains very important. The present study investigates Linked Colour imaging (LCI), an image-enhancing technique, as compared with high-definition white light endoscopy (HD-WLE) for the detection of polyps in this patient group.

Design: This prospective, randomised controlled trial was performed by 22 experienced endoscopists from eight centres in six countries. Consecutive Lynch syndrome patients ≥18 years undergoing surveillance colonoscopy were randomised (1:1) and stratified by centre for inspection with either LCI or HD-WLE. Primary outcome was the polyp detection rate (PDR).

Results: Between January 2018 and March 2020, 357 patients were randomised and 332 patients analysed (160 LCI, 172 HD-WLE; 6 excluded due to incomplete colonoscopies and 19 due to insufficient bowel cleanliness). No significant difference was observed in PDR with LCI (44.4%; 95% CI 36.5% to 52.4%) compared with HD-WLE (36.0%; 95% CI 28.9% to 43.7%) (p=0.12). Of the secondary outcome parameters, more adenomas were found on a patient (adenoma detection rate 36.3%; vs 25.6%; p=0.04) and a colonoscopy basis (mean adenomas per colonoscopy 0.65 vs 0.42; p=0.04). The median withdrawal time was not statistically different between LCI and HD-WLE (12 vs 11 min; p=0.16).

Conclusion: LCI did not improve the PDR compared with HD-WLE in patients with Lynch syndrome undergoing surveillance. The relevance of findings more adenomas by LCI has to be examined further.

Trial Registration Number: NCT03344289.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-323132DOI Listing
March 2021

Implementing capnography to help improve patient safety during procedural sedation: quality improvement in a high-volume gastroenterology department.

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 Apr 19. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

aDepartment of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, UZ Leuven, Belgium bCoreva Scientific, Königswinter, Germany cDepartment of Pneumology dDepartment of Pediatrics, UZ Leuven, Belgium eMedasense Biometrics, Raman Gat fAt the time of writing at Medtronic, Jerusalem, Israel.

Objective: Respiratory compromise is a major cause of adverse events during procedural sedation; continuous monitoring is vital for identifying and halting decompensation. We performed a quality improvement investigation to assess patient safety during procedural sedation in gastroenterology and the impact of implementing capnography monitoring.

Patients And Methods: Sedation-related adverse events and interventions were prospectively recorded during the endoscopic procedure and in recovery. Assuming rates in published literature, power analysis determined that at least 1332 patients were required to show a 20% improvement in patient safety. Recorded sedation-related adverse events (mild and severe oxygen desaturations, bradycardia and tachycardia) and interventions were anonymized and aggregated to evaluate the quality improvement. Patient safety under current care was determined before capnography (Medtronic) was implemented in combination with training.

Results: Between February 2018 and April 2018, a baseline (1092 patients) for outcomes under current care was completed, with 11.45 events per 100 procedures recorded. Between May 2018 and July 2018, 1044 procedures including capnography monitoring were performed with 5.08 events per 100 procedures recorded. The distribution of American Society of Anesthesiologists scores and procedure types between baseline and capnography were comparable. The absolute difference between baseline and capnography was -6.4 events per 100 procedures [95% confidence interval (CI), -4.1 to -8.7; P ≤ 0.0001]. The 55% reduction in adverse events surpassed the 20% improvement in patient safety set as the goal of this quality improvement. After multivariate regression, the adjusted odds ratio for events after implementation of capnography was 0.46 (95% CI, 0.32-0.66).

Conclusions: Addition of capnography to current care significantly decreased procedure-related safety events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MEG.0000000000002144DOI Listing
April 2021

Guidance for setting easy-to-adopt competence criteria for optical diagnosis of diminutive colorectal polyps: a simulation approach.

Gastrointest Endosc 2021 Oct 19;94(4):812-822.e43. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Department of Epidemiology and Data Science, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, location VU Medical Center, VU University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Background And Aims: One reason the optical diagnosis strategy for diminutive colorectal polyps has not yet been implemented is that the current competence criteria (Preservation and Incorporation of Valuable Endoscopic Innovation [PIVI] initiative) are difficult to use in daily practice. To provide guidance for setting alternative easy-to-adopt competence criteria, we determined the lowest proportion of diminutive polyps that should have a correct optical diagnosis to meet the PIVI.

Methods: For this simulation study, we used datasets from 2 prospectively collected cohorts of patients who underwent colonoscopy in either a primary colonoscopy or fecal immunochemical test (FIT) screening setting. In the simulation approach, virtual endoscopists or computer-aided diagnosis systems performed optical diagnosis of diminutive polyps with a fixed diagnostic performance level (strategy) on all individuals in the cohort who had ≥1 diminutive polyp. Strategies were defined by systematically varying the proportion of correct optical diagnoses for each polyp subtype (ie, adenomas, hyperplastic polyps, sessile serrated lesions). For each strategy, we determined whether PIVI-1 (≥90% agreement with U.S. or European Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy [ESGE] surveillance guidelines) and PIVI-2 (≥90% negative predictive value [NPV] for neoplastic lesions in the rectosigmoid) were met using Monte Carlo sampling with 1000 repetitions, with histology as reference.

Results: The level of overall diagnostic accuracy to achieve the PIVI differed significantly depending on the clinical setting and guidelines used. In the colonoscopy screening setting, all diagnostic strategies in which 92% of all diminutive polyps (regardless of histology) were diagnosed correctly led to 90% or more agreement with U.S. surveillance intervals (ie, PIVI-1). For all diagnostic strategies in which ≥89% of all diminutive polyps were correctly diagnosed, at least 90% NPV was achieved (ie, PIVI-2). For the FIT screening setting, values were respectively ≥77% and ≥94%. When using ESGE guidelines, PIVI-1 was in both settings already met when 40% of all diminutive polyps were diagnosed correctly.

Conclusions: In contrast to the fixed PIVI criteria, our simulation study shows that different thresholds for the proportion of correctly diagnosed diminutive polyps lead to different clinical consequences depending on guidelines and clinical setting. However, this target proportion of diminutive colorectal polyps correctly diagnosed with optical diagnosis represents easier-to-adopt competence criteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gie.2021.04.008DOI Listing
October 2021

Safety and efficacy of hydrothermal duodenal mucosal resurfacing in patients with type 2 diabetes: the randomised, double-blind, sham-controlled, multicentre REVITA-2 feasibility trial.

Gut 2021 Feb 17. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Departments of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Objective: Hydrothermal duodenal mucosal resurfacing (DMR) is a safe, outpatient endoscopic procedure. REVITA-2, a double-blind, superiority randomised controlled trial, investigates safety and efficacy of DMR using the single catheter Revita system (Revita DMR (catheter and system)), on glycaemic control and liver fat content in type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Design: Eligible patients (haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) 59-86 mmol/mol, body mass index≥24 and ≤40 kg/m, fasting insulin >48.6 pmol/L, ≥1 oral antidiabetic medication) enrolled in Europe and Brazil. Primary endpoints were safety, change from baseline in HbA1c at 24 weeks, and liver MRI proton-density fat fraction (MRI-PDFF) at 12 weeks.

Results: Overall mITT (DMR n=56; sham n=52), 24 weeks post DMR, median (IQR) HbA1c change was -10.4 (18.6) mmol/mol in DMR group versus -7.1 (16.4) mmol/mol in sham group (p=0.147). In patients with baseline liver MRI-PDFF >5% (DMR n=48; sham n=43), 12-week post-DMR liver-fat change was -5.4 (5.6)% in DMR group versus -2.9 (6.2)% in sham group (p=0.096). Results from prespecified interaction testing and clinical parameter assessment showed heterogeneity between European (DMR n=39; sham n=37) and Brazilian (DMR n=17; sham n=16) populations (p=0.063); therefore, results were stratified by region. In European mITT, 24 weeks post DMR, median (IQR) HbA1c change was -6.6 mmol/mol (17.5 mmol/mol) versus -3.3 mmol/mol (10.9 mmol/mol) post-sham (p=0.033); 12-week post-DMR liver-fat change was -5.4% (6.1%) versus -2.2% (4.3%) post-sham (p=0.035). Brazilian mITT results trended towards DMR benefit in HbA1c, but not liver fat, in context of a large sham effect. In overall PP, patients with high baseline fasting plasma glucose ((FPG)≥10 mmol/L) had significantly greater reductions in HbA1c post-DMR versus sham (p=0.002). Most adverse events were mild and transient.

Conclusions: DMR is safe and exerts beneficial disease-modifying metabolic effects in T2D with or without non-alcoholic liver disease, particularly in patients with high FPG.

Trial Registration Number: NCT02879383.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-323608DOI Listing
February 2021

A clinically interpretable convolutional neural network for the real-time prediction of early squamous cell cancer of the esophagus: comparing diagnostic performance with a panel of expert European and Asian endoscopists.

Gastrointest Endosc 2021 08 5;94(2):273-281. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

University College London Hospitals, London, United Kingdom.

Background And Aims: Intrapapillary capillary loops (IPCLs) are microvascular structures that correlate with the invasion depth of early squamous cell neoplasia and allow accurate prediction of histology. Artificial intelligence may improve human recognition of IPCL patterns and prediction of histology to allow prompt access to endoscopic therapy for early squamous cell neoplasia where appropriate.

Methods: One hundred fifteen patients were recruited at 2 academic Taiwanese hospitals. Magnification endoscopy narrow-band imaging videos of squamous mucosa were labeled as dysplastic or normal according to their histology, and IPCL patterns were classified by consensus of 3 experienced clinicians. A convolutional neural network (CNN) was trained to classify IPCLs, using 67,742 high-quality magnification endoscopy narrow-band images by 5-fold cross validation. Performance measures were calculated to give an average F1 score, accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity. A panel of 5 Asian and 4 European experts predicted the histology of a random selection of 158 images using the Japanese Endoscopic Society IPCL classification; accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were calculated.

Results: Expert European Union (EU) and Asian endoscopists attained F1 scores (a measure of binary classification accuracy) of 97.0% and 98%, respectively. Sensitivity and accuracy of the EU and Asian clinicians were 97%, 98% and 96.9%, 97.1%, respectively. The CNN average F1 score was 94%, sensitivity 93.7%, and accuracy 91.7%. Our CNN operates at video rate and generates class activation maps that can be used to visually validate CNN predictions.

Conclusions: We report a clinically interpretable CNN developed to predict histology based on IPCL patterns, in real time, using the largest reported dataset of images for this purpose. Our CNN achieved diagnostic performance comparable with an expert panel of endoscopists.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gie.2021.01.043DOI Listing
August 2021

When and How To Use Endoscopic Tattooing in the Colon: An International Delphi Agreement.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 05 22;19(5):1038-1050. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Servicio de Medicina Digestiva, Hospital General Universitario de Alicante, Instituto de Investigación Biomédica Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria y Biomédica de Alicante, Alicante, Spain. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: There is a lack of clinical studies to establish indications and methodology for tattooing, therefore technique and practice of tattooing is very variable. We aimed to establish a consensus on the indications and appropriate techniques for colonic tattoo through a modified Delphi process.

Methods: The baseline questionnaire was classified into 3 areas: where tattooing should not be used (1 domain, 6 questions), where tattooing should be used (4 domains, 20 questions), and how to perform tattooing (1 domain 20 questions). A total of 29 experts participated in the 3 rounds of the Delphi process.

Results: A total of 15 statements were approved. The statements that achieved the highest agreement were as follows: tattooing should always be used after endoscopic resection of a lesion with suspicion of submucosal invasion (agreement score, 4.59; degree of consensus, 97%). For a colorectal lesion that is left in situ but considered suitable for endoscopic resection, tattooing may be used if the lesion is considered difficult to detect at a subsequent endoscopy (agreement score, 4.62; degree of consensus, 100%). A tattoo should never be injected directly into or underneath a lesion that might be removed endoscopically at a later point in time (agreement score, 4.79; degree of consensus, 97%). Details of the tattoo injection should be stated clearly in the endoscopy report (agreement score, 4.76; degree of consensus, 100%).

Conclusions: This expert consensus has developed different statements about where tattooing should not be used, when it should be used, and how that should be done.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2021.01.024DOI Listing
May 2021

Local immune response to food antigens drives meal-induced abdominal pain.

Nature 2021 02 13;590(7844):151-156. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Laboratory of Immunoregulation, VIB Center for Inflammation Research, Ghent, Belgium.

Up to 20% of people worldwide develop gastrointestinal symptoms following a meal, leading to decreased quality of life, substantial morbidity and high medical costs. Although the interest of both the scientific and lay communities in this issue has increased markedly in recent years, with the worldwide introduction of gluten-free and other diets, the underlying mechanisms of food-induced abdominal complaints remain largely unknown. Here we show that a bacterial infection and bacterial toxins can trigger an immune response that leads to the production of dietary-antigen-specific IgE antibodies in mice, which are limited to the intestine. Following subsequent oral ingestion of the respective dietary antigen, an IgE- and mast-cell-dependent mechanism induced increased visceral pain. This aberrant pain signalling resulted from histamine receptor H-mediated sensitization of visceral afferents. Moreover, injection of food antigens (gluten, wheat, soy and milk) into the rectosigmoid mucosa of patients with irritable bowel syndrome induced local oedema and mast cell activation. Our results identify and characterize a peripheral mechanism that underlies food-induced abdominal pain, thereby creating new possibilities for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and related abdominal pain disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-03118-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7610810PMC
February 2021

Overcoming the barriers to dissemination and implementation of quality measures for gastrointestinal endoscopy: European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) and United European Gastroenterology (UEG) position statement.

Endoscopy 2021 Feb 7;53(2):196-202. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Center for Health Technology and Services Research (CINTESIS), Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Portugal.

The European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) has developed performance measures and established a framework for quality assessment for gastrointestinal endoscopy in Europe. Most national societies actively undertake initiatives to implement and explicitly endorse these quality indicators. Given this, ESGE proposes that, at a national level, strong leadership should exist to disseminate and implement quality parameters. Thus, understanding the potential barriers that may vary locally is of paramount importance. ESGE suggests that each national society should prioritize quality and standards of care in gastrointestinal endoscopy in their activities and should survey/understand which measures are a local priority to their members and make measuring quality intrinsic to daily endoscopy practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1312-6389DOI Listing
February 2021

An International Multicenter Real-Life Prospective Study of Electronic Chromoendoscopy Score PICaSSO in Ulcerative Colitis.

Gastroenterology 2021 04 6;160(5):1558-1569.e8. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, NIHR Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facilities, University of Birmingham, and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust, Birmingham, United Kingdom; National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre, Birmingham, United Kingdom; Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.

Background & Aims: Endoscopic and histologic remission are important goals in the treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC). We investigated the correlation of the recently developed Paddington International Virtual ChromoendoScopy ScOre (PICaSSO) and other established endoscopic scores against multiple histological indices and prospectively assessed outcomes.

Methods: In this prospective multicenter international study, inflammatory activity was assessed with high-definition and virtual chromoendoscopy in the rectum and sigmoid using the Mayo Endoscopic Score (MES), UC Endoscopic Index of Severity (UCEIS), and PICaSSO. Targeted biopsies were taken for assessment using Robarts Histological Index (RHI), Nancy Histological index (NHI), ECAP (Extent, Chronicity, Activity, Plus score), Geboes, and Villanacci. Follow-up data were obtained at 6 and 12 months after colonoscopy.

Results: A total of 307 patients were recruited. There was strong correlation between PICaSSO and histology scores, significantly superior to correlation coefficients of MES and UCEIS with histology scores. A PICaSSO score of ≤3 detected histologic remission by RHI (≤3 + absence of neutrophils) with area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) 0.90 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.86-0.94) and NHI (≤1) AUROC 0.82 (95% CI 0.77-0.87). The interobserver agreement for PICaSSO was 0.88 (95% CI 0.83-0.92). At 6- and 12-months follow-up, PICaSSO score ≤3 predicted better outcomes than PICaSSO >3 (hazard ratio [HR] 0.19 [0.11-0.33] and 0.22 [0.13-0.34], respectively),} as well as PICaSSO 4-8 (HR 0.25 [0.12-0.53] and 0.22 (0.12-0.39), respectively) and similar to histologic remission.

Conclusion: In this first real-life multicenter study, the PICaSSO score correlated strongly with multiple histological indices. Furthermore, PICaSSO score predicted specified clinical outcomes at 6 and 12 months, similar to histology. Thus, PICaSSO can be a useful endoscopic tool in the therapeutic management of UC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2020.12.024DOI Listing
April 2021

Overcoming the barriers to dissemination and implementation of quality measures for gastrointestinal endoscopy: European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) and United European Gastroenterology (UEG) position statement.

United European Gastroenterol J 2021 02 10;9(1):120-126. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Center for Health Technology and Services Research (CINTESIS), University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.

The European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) has developed performance measures and established a framework for quality assessment for gastrointestinal endoscopy in Europe. Most national societies actively undertake initiatives to implement and explicitly endorse these quality indicators. Given this, the ESGE proposes that, at a national level, strong leadership should exist to disseminate and implement quality parameters. Thus, understanding the potential barriers that may vary locally is of paramount importance. The ESGE suggests that each national society should prioritise quality and standards of care in gastrointestinal endoscopy in their activities and should survey/understand which measures area local priority to their members and make measuring quality intrinsic to daily endoscopy practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2050640620981366DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8259235PMC
February 2021

Optimizing Outcomes with Radiofrequency Ablation of Barrett's Esophagus: Candidates, Efficacy and Durability.

Gastrointest Endosc Clin N Am 2021 Jan;31(1):131-154

Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospital Leuven, 49 Herestraat, Leuven 3000, Belgium. Electronic address:

The treatment of early Barrett's esophagus (BE) has undergone a paradigm shift from surgical subtotal esophagectomy to organ-saving endoluminal treatment. Over the past 15 years, several high-quality studies were conducted to assess safe oncological outcome of endoscopic resection of mucosal adenocarcinoma and high-grade dysplasia. It became clear that add-on ablative therapy with radiofrequency ablation (RFA) significantly reduces recurrence risk of neoplasia after resection. In this review, we highlight the most essential elements to optimize outcomes of RFA of BE, addressing the correct indication and patient selection in combination with the most efficient and safest treatment protocols to obtain long-term durability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.giec.2020.09.004DOI Listing
January 2021

Establishing key research questions for the implementation of artificial intelligence in colonoscopy: a modified Delphi method.

Endoscopy 2021 09 9;53(9):893-901. Epub 2020 Nov 9.

Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Interventional & Surgical Sciences, University College London, London, UK.

BACKGROUND : Artificial intelligence (AI) research in colonoscopy is progressing rapidly but widespread clinical implementation is not yet a reality. We aimed to identify the top implementation research priorities. METHODS : An established modified Delphi approach for research priority setting was used. Fifteen international experts, including endoscopists and translational computer scientists/engineers, from nine countries participated in an online survey over 9 months. Questions related to AI implementation in colonoscopy were generated as a long-list in the first round, and then scored in two subsequent rounds to identify the top 10 research questions. RESULTS : The top 10 ranked questions were categorized into five themes. Theme 1: clinical trial design/end points (4 questions), related to optimum trial designs for polyp detection and characterization, determining the optimal end points for evaluation of AI, and demonstrating impact on interval cancer rates. Theme 2: technological developments (3 questions), including improving detection of more challenging and advanced lesions, reduction of false-positive rates, and minimizing latency. Theme 3: clinical adoption/integration (1 question), concerning the effective combination of detection and characterization into one workflow. Theme 4: data access/annotation (1 question), concerning more efficient or automated data annotation methods to reduce the burden on human experts. Theme 5: regulatory approval (1 question), related to making regulatory approval processes more efficient. CONCLUSIONS : This is the first reported international research priority setting exercise for AI in colonoscopy. The study findings should be used as a framework to guide future research with key stakeholders to accelerate the clinical implementation of AI in endoscopy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1306-7590DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8390295PMC
September 2021

Cold snare piecemeal EMR of large sessile colonic polyps >20 mm: a call for dedicated snares.

Gastrointest Endosc 2020 11;92(5):1141-1142

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gie.2020.05.059DOI Listing
November 2020

Artificial intelligence and its impact on quality improvement in upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopy.

Dig Endosc 2021 Jan 19;33(2):242-253. Epub 2020 Dec 19.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and its application in medicine has grown large interest. Within gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy, the field of colonoscopy and polyp detection is the most investigated, however, upper GI follows the lead. Since endoscopy is performed by humans, it is inherently an imperfect procedure. Computer-aided diagnosis may improve its quality by helping prevent missing lesions and supporting optical diagnosis for those detected. An entire evolution in AI systems has been established in the last decades, resulting in optimization of the diagnostic performance with lower variability and matching or even outperformance of expert endoscopists. This shows a great potential for future quality improvement of endoscopy, given the outstanding diagnostic features of AI. With this narrative review, we highlight the potential benefit of AI to improve overall quality in daily endoscopy and describe the most recent developments for characterization and diagnosis as well as the recent conditions for regulatory approval.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/den.13888DOI Listing
January 2021

Duodenal mucosal resurfacing: Multicenter experience implementing a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure for treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Endosc Int Open 2020 Nov 22;8(11):E1683-E1689. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Duodenal mucosal resurfacing (DMR) is an endoscopic procedure which improves insulin resistant metabolic disease, including type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The aim of this report was to evaluate the feasibility and procedural aspects of DMR and to provide more specific DMR procedural guidance for endoscopists. In this international multicenter, prospective, open-label study, patients on oral anti-diabetic agents for treating T2DM underwent single DMR. DMR entails circumferential submucosal lifting followed by circumferential mucosal hydrothermal ablation using an over-the-guidewire balloon catheter for lifting and ablation. For the first 28 patients a dual catheter system was used. During the study, a new integrated catheter was developed which was used for the latter 18 patients. During DMR, procedure success (complete DMR: duodenal ablation length ≥ 9 cm) and procedure duration were captured. Forty-six patients underwent DMR. Using the dual catheter system, a complete DMR was performed in 22 of 28 patients (79 %). In the next eighteen patients who underwent DMR with the integrated catheter, a complete DMR was performed in 15 of 18 patients (83 %). The integrated catheter facilitated the DMR procedure and resulted in a reduction in procedure time. A detailed table and video are provided for future endoscopists. In our multicenter study, DMR was found to be feasible in the hands of experienced endoscopists. The integrated DMR catheter was a welcome modification during the study, allowing for easier ablation administration. Further optimization of the technique would be valuable prior to widespread dissemination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1244-2283DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7581486PMC
November 2020

Computer-Aided Diagnosis With Monochromatic Light Endoscopy for Scoring Histologic Remission in Ulcerative Colitis.

Gastroenterology 2021 01 12;160(1):23-25. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

University Hospitals Leuven, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2020.09.053DOI Listing
January 2021

Variability in the Distribution of Histological Disease Activity in the Colon of Patients with Ulcerative Colitis.

J Crohns Colitis 2021 Apr;15(4):603-608

Department of Pathology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Background And Aims: Histological activity scores have been developed and validated. However, data on the distribution of histological inflammation within one segment in patients with ulcerative colitis [UC] are lacking. This impacts on the reliability of histological activity scores. The aim of this study was to assess the variability in histological activity within one endoscopic segment in patients with UC.

Methods: Biopsies were taken in sequential patients with UC in three adjacent contiguous regions within a macroscopically homogeneous colonic segment. Biopsies were scored for Geboes score [GS], Robarts histological index [RHI] and Nancy histological index [NHI]. Variability was assessed by Kappa statistics for categorical outcomes and intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] for continuous outcomes.

Results: A total of 161 biopsy sets from 55 endoscopic segments of 21 patients were analysed. Endoscopically active disease was present in 45% of segments. The continuous histological scores showed excellent agreement between the different regions. The ICC for RHI in all segments was 0.974 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.958-0.984; p < 0.0001) and 0.98 [95% CI: 0.968-0.988; p < 0.0001] for the numerically converted GS. The categorical NHI showed higher variability: κ = 0.574 [95% CI: 0.571-0.577; p < 0.0001]. In all segments the highest variability was seen in samples with NHI = 2. When dichotomizing based on histological remission, substantial agreement was seen for all scores, with κ > 0.734 for all cut-offs. The homogeneity in the distribution of histological disease activity was comparable between colonic segments.

Conclusion: The distribution of histological disease activity in UC follows a homogeneous pattern in different locations of one segment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjaa206DOI Listing
April 2021

Real-time unblinding for validation of a new CADe tool for colorectal polyp detection.

Gut 2021 Apr 12;70(4):641-643. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-322491DOI Listing
April 2021

The Value of Virtual Chromoendoscopy in the Workup of Patients with Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Curr Oncol Rep 2020 09 29;22(12):121. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Leuven Cancer Institute, University Hospitals Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000, Leuven, Belgium.

Purpose Of Review: Second primary tumors (SPTs) significantly increase the mortality in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs). Virtual chromoendoscopy (VCE) could complement or replace lugol chromoendoscopy (LCE) for early esophageal second primary tumor (ESPT) detection. An overview of the existing techniques and their diagnostic performance in early detection of esophageal squamous cell neoplasms is provided.

Recent Findings: Nowadays, LCE is the golden standard to detect ESPTs. Recently, multiple new VCE techniques have been developed. Especially narrow-band imaging (NBI) is promising. It shows similar sensitivity to LCE, but a significantly higher specificity. Patients with HNSCC are prone to develop ESPTs, both synchronous and metachronous, with a substantial negative impact on survival rates. Therefore, active screening and follow-up is necessary. LCE is an effective screening method, but has some disadvantages. Countering these drawbacks, NBI shows a high potential in early ESPT detection in high-risk patients. Additional multicenter studies are needed to compare diagnostic performance and cost-effectiveness of NBI and other VCE techniques with LCE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11912-020-00982-zDOI Listing
September 2020

Curriculum for optical diagnosis training in Europe: European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) Position Statement.

Endoscopy 2020 10 3;52(10):899-923. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Catholic University of Leuven (KUL), TARGID, University Hospital Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

This manuscript represents an official Position Statement of the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) aiming to guide general gastroenterologists to develop and maintain skills in optical diagnosis during endoscopy. In general, this requires additional training beyond the core curriculum currently provided in each country. In this context, ESGE have developed a European core curriculum for optical diagnosis practice across Europe for high quality optical diagnosis training. 1:  ESGE suggests that every endoscopist should have achieved general competence in upper and/or lower gastrointestinal (UGI/LGI) endoscopy before commencing training in optical diagnosis of the UGI/LGI tract, meaning personal experience of at least 300 UGI and/or 300 LGI endoscopies and meeting the ESGE quality measures for UGI/LGI endoscopy. ESGE suggests that every endoscopist should be able and competent to perform UGI/LGI endoscopy with high definition white light combined with virtual and/or dye-based chromoendoscopy before commencing training in optical diagnosis. 2:  ESGE suggests competency in optical diagnosis can be learned by attending a validated optical diagnosis training course based on a validated classification, and self-learning with a minimum number of lesions. If no validated training course is available, optical diagnosis can only be learned by attending a non-validated onsite training course and self-learning with a minimum number of lesions. 3:  ESGE suggests endoscopists are competent in optical diagnosis after meeting the pre-adoption and learning criteria, and meeting competence thresholds by assessing a minimum number of lesions prospectively during real-time endoscopy. ESGE suggests ongoing in vivo practice by endoscopists to maintain competence in optical diagnosis. If a competent endoscopist does not perform in vivo optical diagnosis on a regular basis, ESGE suggests repeating the learning and competence phases to maintain competence.Key areas of interest were optical diagnosis training in Barrett's esophagus, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, early gastric cancer, diminutive colorectal lesions, early colorectal cancer, and neoplasia in inflammatory bowel disease. Condition-specific recommendations are provided in the main document.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1231-5123DOI Listing
October 2020

Recovery of endoscopy services in the era of COVID-19: recommendations from an international Delphi consensus.

Gut 2020 11 14;69(11):1915-1924. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Department of Gastroenterology, Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Moscow, Russian Federation.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on provision of endoscopy services globally as staff and real estate were repurposed. As we begin to recover from the pandemic, a cohesive international approach is needed, and guidance on how to resume endoscopy services safely to avoid unintended harm from diagnostic delays. The aim of these guidelines is to provide consensus recommendations that clinicians can use to facilitate the swift and safe resumption of endoscopy services. An evidence-based literature review was carried out on the various strategies used globally to manage endoscopy during the COVID-19 pandemic and control infection. A modified Delphi process involving international endoscopy experts was used to agree on the consensus statements. A threshold of 80% agreement was used to establish consensus for each statement. 27 of 30 statements achieved consensus after two rounds of voting by 34 experts. The statements were categorised as pre-endoscopy, during endoscopy and postendoscopy addressing relevant areas of practice, such as screening, personal protective equipment, appropriate environments for endoscopy and infection control precautions, particularly in areas of high disease prevalence. Recommendations for testing of patients and for healthcare workers, appropriate locations of donning and doffing areas and social distancing measures before endoscopy are unique and not dealt with by any other guidelines. This international consensus using a modified Delphi method to produce a series of best practice recommendations to aid the safe resumption of endoscopy services globally in the era of COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-322329DOI Listing
November 2020

Assessing Disease Activity in Ulcerative Colitis Using Artificial Intelligence: Can "Equally Good" Be Seen as "Better"?

Gastroenterology 2020 10 13;159(4):1625-1626. Epub 2020 Aug 13.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2020.03.090DOI Listing
October 2020

Optimization for Medical Image Segmentation: Theory and Practice When Evaluating With Dice Score or Jaccard Index.

IEEE Trans Med Imaging 2020 11 28;39(11):3679-3690. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

In many medical imaging and classical computer vision tasks, the Dice score and Jaccard index are used to evaluate the segmentation performance. Despite the existence and great empirical success of metric-sensitive losses, i.e. relaxations of these metrics such as soft Dice, soft Jaccard and Lovász-Softmax, many researchers still use per-pixel losses, such as (weighted) cross-entropy to train CNNs for segmentation. Therefore, the target metric is in many cases not directly optimized. We investigate from a theoretical perspective, the relation within the group of metric-sensitive loss functions and question the existence of an optimal weighting scheme for weighted cross-entropy to optimize the Dice score and Jaccard index at test time. We find that the Dice score and Jaccard index approximate each other relatively and absolutely, but we find no such approximation for a weighted Hamming similarity. For the Tversky loss, the approximation gets monotonically worse when deviating from the trivial weight setting where soft Tversky equals soft Dice. We verify these results empirically in an extensive validation on six medical segmentation tasks and can confirm that metric-sensitive losses are superior to cross-entropy based loss functions in case of evaluation with Dice Score or Jaccard Index. This further holds in a multi-class setting, and across different object sizes and foreground/background ratios. These results encourage a wider adoption of metric-sensitive loss functions for medical segmentation tasks where the performance measure of interest is the Dice score or Jaccard index.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TMI.2020.3002417DOI Listing
November 2020

Improved detection of colorectal adenomas by high-quality colon cleansing.

Endosc Int Open 2020 Jul 16;8(7):E928-E937. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

KU Leuven, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Reliable adenoma detection requires "adequate" bowel preparation. The adenoma detection rate (ADR) was assessed in patients with high-quality (stool-free) cleansing versus adequate cleansing. This study was a post-hoc combined analysis of three randomized trials individually powered for cleansing quality assessment. Treatment-independent ADR was assessed versus colon cleansing quality by central readers using the Harefield Cleansing Scale (HCS) and the Boston Bowel Preparation Scale (BBPS). The number needed to treat (NNT) to find an additional patient with at least one adenoma was calculated for high-quality versus adequate-quality cleansing. A total of 1749 patients were included. ADR increased with high-quality versus adequate-quality cleansing: HCS grade A versus B, 39 % (94/242) versus 27 % (336/1229); NNT = 8.7;  < 0.001. ADR also increased with high-quality versus uniform adequate segmental cleansing scores: HCS grade A versus uniform segmental scores 2, 39 % (94/242) versus 26 % (97/379); NNT = 7.5;  < 0.001. ADR increased with top-quality versus adequate segmental cleansing scores: HCS uniform segmental scores 4 versus 2, 54 % (21/39) versus 26 % (97/379); NNT = 3.6;  < 0.001. ADR increased with BBPS 9 versus 6, 43 % (71/166) versus 26 % (247/950); NNT = 6.0;  < 0.001. Right colon ADR increased with top-quality versus adequate cleansing: HCS 4 versus 2, 20 % (25/122) versus 11 % (121/1117); NNT = 10.4;  < 0.001 and BBPS 3 versus 2, 15 % (42/284) versus 11 % (130/1192); NNT = 25.8;  = 0.033. High-quality colon cleansing improves adenoma detection, and it should be a priority for bowel preparations for colonoscopy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1167-1359DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7359847PMC
July 2020
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