Boston Scientific's SpyGlass® Direct Visualization System Achieves Global Utilization Milestones
System used in 25,000 patient procedures at 600 facilities worldwide since 2007

NATICK, Mass., May 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: BSX) today announced several milestones in the adoption of its SpyGlass® Direct Visualization System since its worldwide launch in July 2007.  The SpyGlass System guides visualization and accessory devices for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in the pancreatico-biliary system, including the hepatic ducts.  It was developed to overcome limitations of traditional cholangioscopes and ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreotography) while reducing the need for exploratory surgery, potentially reducing cost and procedure time.

During nearly four years of clinical practice, the system has been:  

  • Installed in approximately 600 medical facilities worldwide
  • Used globally in more than 25,000 patient procedures
  • Supported by published clinical data in more than 60 abstracts and articles in peer-reviewed medical journals

The SpyGlass System features a miniature 6,000-pixel fiber optic probe attached to a camera that permits direct visualization of the pancreatico-biliary system.  Using dedicated irrigation and working channels, physicians can sample diagnostic tissues within the bile duct using the disposable SpyBite® Biopsy Forceps and deliver therapeutic devices, such as electrohydraulic lithotripsy (EHL) or laser probes, to break up large stones.

"The SpyGlass System is an important element of the ERCP suite and critical to our leadership in therapeutic endoscopy solutions," said David Pierce, President of Boston Scientific's Endoscopy Division.  "We are committed to pursuing further clinical evaluation, expanded indications and ongoing system development to deliver the most advanced treatment options for patients with biliary and pancreatic disease."

Conventional visualization technology limitations

Prior to the SpyGlass System's launch in 2007, ERCP and traditional cholangioscopes were used to examine patients requiring diagnosis or treatment within the pancreatico-biliary system.  ERCP, a specialized endoscopic procedure performed with fluoroscopy, contrast injection and x-ray imaging, has conventional visualization capabilities limited to two-dimensional, black and white fluoroscopy x-ray images.  This can make it difficult to obtain accurate diagnostic tissue samples and deliver effective treatment.  Estimates indicate that approximately 70 percent of ERCPs performed using brush cytology result in the need for additional testing for a final diagnosis.  

Similar to ERCP, traditional cholangioscopes, while offering clinical utility, failed to gain widespread adoption as the technology was generally fragile, difficult-to-use and required multiple operators.  The SpyGlass System is designed to overcome many of these limitations by offering effective direct visualization of the pancreas and bile ducts with a robust single-operator system that allows use of both diagnostic and therapeutic devices.

International registry highlights benefits of real-time direct visualization

Boston Scientific also announced results of an international, multi-center registry of 297 patients who underwent cholangioscopy for stone therapy or investigation of suspected pathology with the SpyGlass System.  Results showed targeted biopsies using the SpyGlass System with SpyBite Forceps provided specimens adequate for histology in 89 percent of cases.  Results also demonstrated a 92 percent success rate in large stone management procedures.  In 29 percent of stone management procedures, the system identified stones that had been missed during initial procedures using conventional ERCP, further validating the benefits of real-time, direct visualization for stone detection.

"The SpyGlass System has quickly become an important tool in my GI practice and an indispensable technology when performing ERCP procedures," said Douglas Pleskow, M.D., Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.  "It provides excellent direct visual access to the bile ducts and pancreas, helping obtain an accurate diagnosis and deliver effective treatment options in one procedure."

Boston Scientific has completed compatibility testing of the SpyGlass System with the Lumenis® SlimLine GI™ Fiber 365 micron laser probe and the Northgate® EHL probe.  Compatibility with these adjunct technologies allows the system to be used during ERCP for laser or EHL stone ablation procedures within the bile ducts, expanding the product's functional capabilities.

Lumenis and SlimLine GI are trademarks of Lumenis, Ltd.; Northgate is a trademark of Northgate Technologies, Inc.

For more information on the SpyGlass System, visit Boston Scientific's Endoscopy Channel at

About Boston Scientific

Boston Scientific is a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices whose products are used in a broad range of interventional medical specialties.  For more information, please visit:  

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Erik Kopp

508-650-8660 (office)

Media Relations

Boston Scientific Corporation

Sean Wirtjes

508-652-5305 (office)

Investor Relations

Boston Scientific Corporation

SOURCE Boston Scientific Corporation