We propose a new illumination method for a medical endoscope: narrow band imaging (NBI), in which the spectral bandwidth of the filtered light is narrowed. To confirm how the spectral specifications of the filtered light influence a reproduced image, an experiment was conducted observing the endoscopic images of the back mucosa of a human tongue. In addition, the effect of NBI on endoscopie images was investigated through preliminary clinical tests in colonoscopy and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. It has been shown that NBI can enhance the capillary pattern and the crypt pattern on the mucosa. These patterns are useful features for diagnosing an early cancer.
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