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 21 May 2018

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News

Digestive endoscopy not a risk for Hep C transmission

Findings from a study in the most recent Annals of Internal Medicine show that properly performed digestive endoscopy is not a major risk factor for the transmission of Hepatitis C.

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The potential role of digestive endoscopy as a mode for transmission of Hepatitis C virus is controversial.

Dr Ciancio evaluated the role of digestive endoscopy in transmitting Hepatitis C.

The research team compared the incidence of Hepatitis C infection in a cohort of patients undergoing endoscopy and in a cohort of blood donors.

8260 undergoing endoscopy remained anti-Hepatitis C-negative 6 months after the procedure
Annals of Internal Medicine

The team conducted a prospective cohort study in 3 endoscopic units and 2 blood banks in northwestern Italy.

The potentially exposed cohort consisted of 9188 outpatients consecutively recruited from 3 endoscopic units.

Of 9008 patients negative for antibody to Hepatitis C (anti-Hepatitis C), the team retested 8260 for anti-Hepatitis C 6 months after endoscopy.

The unexposed cohort consisted of 51,230 healthy, anti-Hepatitis C–negative persons who donated blood at 2 blood banks in the same area and during the same time.

The researchers reported that 38,280 of these patients were tested again for anti-Hepatitis C 6 to 48 months after the first blood donation.

The team evaluated differences in the anti-Hepatitis C seroconversion rate between the exposed cohort (patients undergoing endoscopy) and the unexposed cohort (blood donors).

The researchers evaluated seroconversion by a third-generation enzyme immunoassay for anti-Hepatitis C.

Persons positive for anti-Hepatitis C were tested for Hepatitis C RNA by polymerase chain reaction.

The researchers found that all 8260 persons undergoing endoscopy remained negative for anti-Hepatitis C 6 months after the procedure.

None of the 912 patients who underwent endoscopy with the same instrument previously used on Hepatitis C carriers showed anti-Hepatitis C seroconversion.

The research team observed that 4 blood donors became positive for anti-Hepatitis C and Hepatitis C RNA.

The researchers noted that each had undergone minor surgery before the second test.

The team reported that in the endoscopy cohort, 8% of patients were lost to follow-up.

Dr Ciancio's team concludes, “These findings support the hypothesis that properly performed digestive endoscopy is not a major risk factor for the transmission of Hepatitis C.”

Ann Int Med 2005: 142(11): 903-9
15 June 2005

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