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Hepatogastroenterology. 1983 Oct;30(5):189-91.

Risk of hepatitis B virus infection following upper gastrointestinal endoscopy: a prospective study in an endemic area.


A prospective survey, comprising 623 consecutive upper gastrointestinal endoscopies (in 588 patients) was carried out simultaneously at two endoscopy centres of a Mediterranean country, without altering the routine procedures. Each patient was tested for HBsAg, and sera found to be HBsAg-positive were tested for HBeAg/antiHBe: 40/588 (7.1%) subjects were found to be HBsAg-positive and 6 of them were HBeAg-positive. Sera of the first 5 HBsAg-negative patients in whom the same endoscope and/or biopsy forceps were used after a HBsAg-positive subject, were tested for antiHBc to ascertain antecedent HBV immunity: 77/136 (56.6%) were found to be antiHBc-positive. Forty-eight out of the 59 individuals "at risk" lacking evidence of previous HBV infection were contacted 6 months after endoscopy: none reported symptoms of hepatitis; 40 of them had blood tests for HBsAg and antiHBc: none showed serum markers of HBV infection. It is therefore concluded that, in spite of the high number of HBsAg carriers among endoscopy candidates, the risk of HBV spread during upper G.I. endoscopy is very low, even in high prevalence areas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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