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Dig Dis Sci. 1979 Jan;24(1):21-4.

Failure of endoscopic transmission of hepatitis B.


Emergency endoscopy was performed on two patients subsequently found to be hepatitis B surface antigen carriers. Before their carrier state was determined, nine other patients underwent endoscopy using the same instruments, which had been routinely cleaned between procedures. These patients were all notified within five days of the incident, given standard gamma globulin, and prospectively followed for the development of hepatitis. After one of the endoscopes was gas sterilized, the next three patients undergoing endoscopy were also followed. One of the hepatitis B surface antigen carriers was positive for antibody to e antigen; the other carrier had neither e antigen nor antibody. None of these individuals developed signs or symptoms of hepatitis, abnormal serum glutamic pyruvate transaminase elevations, or serologic evidence of hepatitis B exposure. From these data, and other recorded experiences, it appears that routine cleansing of endoscopy equipment is sufficient in preventing the transmission of hepatitis B.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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