Endoscopy 1999; 31(6): 479-486
DOI: 10.1055/s-1999-8041
Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart ·New York

Staining in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: The Basics

 M. I. Canto
  • Division of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
31 December 1999 (online)


Chromoendoscopy or tissue staining is an “old” endoscopic technique that has been used for decades. It involves the topical application of stains or pigments to improve localization, characterization, or diagnosis [1]. It is a useful adjunct to endoscopy; the contrast between normally stained and abnormally stained epithelium enables the endoscopist to formulate a diagnosis and/or to direct biopsies based on a specific reaction or enhancement of surface morphology. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in chromoendoscopy as an endoscopic technique that can improve endoscopic diagnosis. This may have occurred because it is a simple, safe, quick, widely available, and inexpensive diagnostic tool. Also, new applications of staining techniques to the diagnosis of conditions such as Barrett's esophagus, celiac sprue, and the presence of Helicobacter pylori underscore the potential for routine clinical use by the gastroenterologist. Vital staining and tattooing have become even more relevant in clinical gastrointestinal practice because of evolving endoscopic therapies (such as endoscopic mucosal resection, photodynamic therapy, multipolar electrocoagulation, etc.) which require careful selection of patients suitable for treatment.


MHS M.D. M. I. Canto

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