The gastrocamera as an aid in diagnosis

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CAREFUL and thorough trial should be given any promising new diagnostic development in regard to diseases of the stomach. Of the special examinations available, the radiographic technics are the most widely employed and generally the most useful. There are many occasions, though, when questions still remain after the radiographic examination of the stomach has been completed. A direct view of the interior of the stomach by gastroscopic examination would solve some of these problems. Just as the radiologist makes a permanent record of his fluoroscopic examinations by exposing films, the gastroscopist has thought it desirable to make photographs, but satisfactory apparatus has not been available until recently.

In 1898, Lange and Meltzing1 published a description of an intragastric camera that they had constructed and used (Fig. 1). The photographic emulsions and light sources available to them were not satisfactory, and it was not until 1948 that Segal and Watson2 reported that they were able to make satisfactory color photographs through the flexible gastroscope. The attachment of an electronic flash lamp on the intragastric end of the gastroscope by Debray and Housset3 made routine gastroscopic color photography practical for the average endoscopist, but the usual blind areas of the lens type of semiflexible gastroscope were a disadvantage. Fiberoptic gastroscopes with increased flexibility have reduced the size and location of blind areas and have permitted the use of an external light source of great intensity. These changes have made possible routine still and motion picture gastric color photography with rather simple apparatus.



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