Celiac disease (CD) is a systemic, immune‐mediated illness that primarily affects the small bowel. A few decades ago, in the era of Watson and Crosby capsules, we used to sample the small bowel without even looking at it. Nowadays, with the continuous developing field of digestive endoscopy, we can even see the duodenal villi up closely, allowing for an optical, real‐time diagnosis of villous atrophy. Advanced endoscopic techniques such as magnification, chromoendoscopy (dye‐based and digital), water immersion, confocal endomicroscopy, endocytoscopy, and optical coherence tomography (OCT) have been evaluated in CD with good results: good agreement with histology, allowing for targeted biopsies and a reduction in the number of biopsies needed for diagnosis. Moreover, with the growing use of open‐access endoscopy in many parts of the world, endoscopy is now contributing to increasing the diagnostic rate of CD, by recognition of endoscopic markers in patients without clinical suspicion of this disease. This is however an observer‐dependent method; to overcome the endoscopists subjectiveness in assessing villous atrophy, in the last years, many papers have looked at means of computerized analysis of endoscopic images. Currently available data show that these automated, quantitative methods hold very promising for the future.
Part of the book: Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity