Histoire de l'endoscopie digestive.
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In vivo exploration of human body natural cavities has been a challenge since Antiquity. Two major problems, lighting and rigidity of the tubes, have delayed the development of endoscopy. In 1853, Desormeaux, a French urologist considered as the " father of endoscopy ", was the first one to look inside the bladder with a tube lighted by an oil lamp. In 1881, Von Mickulicz Radecki in Vienna, did the first successful gastroscopy, describing a stomach cancer. However, rigidity precluded extensive utilization of the endoscope he used. In the twenties, when electric bulbs became available, R. Schindler from Germany, introduced a semi-flexible device with a system of several lenses allowing light transmission when bent about 30<degree>. F. Moutier was the first French gastroenterologist to use this endoscope. He described several types of gastritis, including the atrophic gastritis of Biermer disease. The modern endoscopes use the properties of light-pipes. The American physician B. Hirschowitz developed the first apparatus composed of 36 000 glass fibers. Now, the endoscopes contain more than 200 000 glass fibers, providing an excellent visibility. They allow to explore the whole digestive tract and to perform light surgical procedures, such as tumor extraction and esophageal varicose veins sclerosis. The last generation of endoscope is electronic, allowing visualization on screen and computer disk storage of data.
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Guerre, J, Histoire de l'endoscopie digestive., Med Sci (Paris), 1999, Vol. 15, N° 10; p.1135-9