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Comparison of Sterilization of Reusable Endoscopic Biopsy Forceps by Autoclaving and Ethylene Oxide Gas

Comparison of Sterilization of Reusable Endoscopic Biopsy Forceps by Autoclaving and Ethylene Oxide Gas
Biopsy forceps; Sterilization; Equipment reuse; Ethylene oxide; Autoclave
Issue Date
Springer Science + Business Media
Digestive diseases and sciences,Vol.57 No.2 [2012],pp.405-412
Background and AimsEvery country has standardized reprocessing guidelines for reducing the risk of microorganism transmission via reusable biopsy forceps. Sterilization is performed either by autoclaving or with the use of ethylene oxide (EO) gas. However, there are no clear standard global recommendations. The aim of this study was to determine whether EO gas or autoclaving is a safer and more effective method for the sterilization of reusable forceps.MethodsThis was a prospective study conducted at multiple tertiary referral centers. Seventy reusable biopsy forceps that had been reused at least 20 times each were collected from six endoscopy centers. In all, 61 forceps from five centers were sterilized using EO gas, and the nine forceps from the remaining center were placed in an autoclave. We performed real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for Mycobacterium tuberculosis and hepatitis B virus and performed bacterial cultures on the reusable forceps, which were cut into 2- to 3-cm sections. The forceps were also scanned with an electron microscope (EM) to detect surface damage and contamination.ResultsEscherichia coli bacteria were cultured from 2 of the 61 (3.3%) reusable biopsy forceps sterilized with EO gas. On EM scanning, abundant debris and tissue materials remained on the cup surfaces of the reused biopsy forceps and on their inner wires. No microorganisms were found on the autoclaved forceps.ConclusionsSterilization with EO gas may be inadequate because the complicated structure of the forceps may interfere with sterilization. Therefore, for optimum safety, reusable biopsy forceps should be sterilized by autoclaving.
0163-2116; 1573-2568
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