20 December 2018 (online)
Dear readers, authors and friends of Endoscopy,
In 2019, Endoscopy celebrates its 50th birthday. From its beginning, Endoscopy has been at the vanguard in advancing the art and science of gastrointestinal endoscopy. The word “endoscopy” comes from the Greek ἔνδον (éndon) or inside, and σκοπεῖν (skopein)‚ to observe. Indeed, the essence of every endoscopy is to carefully observe and make a diagnosis, followed increasingly often by endoscopic therapy. Translating this concept into everyday clinical practice around the world remains the core purpose of our journal. Approximately a decade after the introduction of the fiberoptic gastroscope, endoscopists were already beginning to use this instrument to perform therapeutics in the GI tract, such as injecting bleeding ulcers or resecting colon polyps. Thus, gastrointestinal endoscopy rapidly progressed from a specialty focused on diagnosis to a discipline dealing with intervention and treatment.
To commemorate Endoscopy’s 50th anniversary each issue in 2019 will carry a special editorial dedicated to a classic endoscopic paper. We are confident that the more senior amongst us will enjoy reminiscing about the major diagnostic and therapeutic advances that have occurred over the past 50 years. Our younger colleagues may well be amazed to learn that some of the key therapeutic interventions in gastrointestinal endoscopy were first published as “simple” case or technical reports: no major randomization was ever necessary to demonstrate their clinical utility! The driving force that took these techniques and tools into everyday clinical practice was the simple logic of their usefulness. Such procedures include endoscopic hemostasis with injection, use of thermal or clipping devices, resection of polyps with a snare, and the bright idea of inserting a short plastic tube into the bile duct to decompress it. And it was dedicated and brilliant working endoscopists who came up with the ingenious concept of using self-expanding metal stents to open up various parts of the gastrointestinal lumen. Landmark achievements such as cannulation, and subsequently endoscopic sphincterotomy of the papilla of Vater, were also published as detailed case reports. Other techniques, such as diagnostic endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), entered practice with little credibility, but the persistence and vision of the early endosonographers propelled EUS to its position as a pillar of therapeutic endoscopy. Some fields may appear newer or more recent, such as advanced imaging, but the reader may well be surprised to learn that advanced imaging is almost as old as the specialty of endoscopy, with groundbreaking papers published as far back as the 1970s. Of course, microscopic and confocal imaging is a much more recent development, but the concept of careful observation, magnification, and interrogation of the mucosa has always been an inherent element of our specialty. Lastly, in our special editorial series we will be recalling that any diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic intervention has the potential to result in harm to patients, and any skilled endoscopist must know how to prevent and manage complications should they occur.
Each of the special editorials will be written by two renowned experts who have contributed extensively in all areas of gastrointestinal endoscopy: research, publication, worldwide teaching, and patient care. And we are especially honored to have some pioneers, living endoscopy legends, contributing to this celebration. These endoscopists may now be enjoying their diamond age celebrations, but they were key leaders in the “Golden Era” of endoscopy, a time when the majority of inventions and techniques were introduced into our specialty. Nevertheless, as we see in every new issue of Endoscopy, our specialty continues to surprise us with new diseases, new manifestations of old diseases, modifications of older techniques, improvement of diagnostic and interventional methods, and the development of new tools and new therapeutic interventions.
Of course, a history can only be built on the contributions of the authors who submit their excellent work to Endoscopy. And the readers need to find that the journal is interesting and that its content is helpful in their daily clinical practice. Preparation of each month’s Endoscopy issue is done by a great editorial team, from 2018 complemented by Evelien Dekker as new Co-Editor, further supported by our superb Editorial Office and an always helpful publisher. Finally, our collaboration with the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy has become even more extensive, with the publication of a special abstract issue of the first ESGE Days in 2018 and, during the second ESGE Days, on April 4–6, 2019 in Prague, we will have a special session celebrating Endoscopy’s anniversary.
On behalf of all of the Editorial team, we wish you a healthy and happy 2019!
Peter D. Siersema, Editor-in-Chief, Endoscopy
Klaus Mönkemüller, Co-Editor, Endoscopy