Original article Clinical endoscopy| Volume 97, ISSUE 1, P100-111.e1, January 2023

Endocytoscopy for assessing histologic inflammation in ulcerative colitis: development and prospective validation of the ELECT (ErLangen Endocytoscopy in ColiTis) score (with videos)

Published:September 01, 2022DOI:

      Background and Aims

      Apart from endoscopic healing as an established treatment goal in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), histologic remission is an emerging endpoint that might even better predict disease outcome, especially in ulcerative colitis (UC). Within this study, we aimed to evaluate whether endocytoscopy (EC) as an in vivo contact microscopy technology can accurately assess histologic inflammation and predict the further course of disease in UC patients.


      Initially, a new and intuitive EC score reflecting the entire spectrum of microscopic disease activity in UC was consensually developed. Subsequently, this score was independently validated in 46 patients with UC who underwent close-meshed follow-up during which major adverse outcomes (MAOs; defined as disease flare, IBD-related hospitalization, IBD-related surgery, necessity for initiation or escalation therapy) were recorded. Results of EC grading of inflammatory activity were compared against 2 validated histologic scores in UC. Diagnostic performance of endoscopic remission under white-light endoscopy (Mayo Endoscopic Score and Ulcerative Colitis Endoscopic Index of Severity), EC, and histology were compared for the prediction of MAOs.


      Endocytoscopic assessment of inflammatory activity in UC based on the newly developed ErLangen Endocytoscopy in ColiTis score showed strong correlation with histopathologic scoring (Robarts Histopathology Index, r = .70; Nancy Histologic Index, r = .73) and was superior to white-light endoscopy for grading of microscopic disease activity, with a sensitivity of 88%, specificity of 95.2%, and area under the curve of .916. Furthermore, EC exhibited a high interobserver agreement for in vivo grading of microscopic inflammation and was comparably accurate as histopathology for forecasting the occurrence of MAOs in UC.


      Endocytoscopic grading of inflammatory activity along a newly developed scoring system enabled real-time histology in UC patients and better predicted clinical outcome in UC patients than endoscopic remission.


      EC (endocytoscopy), ELECT (ErLangen Endocytoscopy for ColiTis), HD (high definition), IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), MAO (major adverse outcome), MES (Mayo Endoscopic Score), NHI (Nancy Histologic Index), RHI (Robarts Histopathology Index), UC (ulcerative colitis), UCEIS (Ulcerative Colitis Endoscopic Index of Severity), WLE (white-light endoscopy)
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