The Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) has built a bridge between the nuclear and optical imaging, and opened a new direction of optical imaging in clinic translation. However, the wide applications of CLI are limited by the weak intensity and poor penetration capacity. By coupling highly sensitive charged coupled device camera with optical fiber bundle based endoscope, Cerenkov luminescence endoscopy (CLE) has recently been developed to overcome these limitations. Using the CLE, diseases deep buried in the body, such as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract cancer, can be identified by radiotracer, which can hardly be detected by CLI from the surface of the body. Here, we review recent progress on CLI and CLE, including the principle, imaging instrument, as well as applications. In addition, the intensity enhanced strategies for Cerenkov luminescence are presented, which may provide an ideal solution to the obstacle of CLE in the translation studies. In the end, we present possible future directions of the CLE technology.
Keywords: Cerenkov luminescence imaging, Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal disease, Molecular imaging, Optical imaging.