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. 1999 Apr;49(4 Pt 1):477-82.
doi: 10.1016/s0016-5107(99)70046-5.

In Vitro and in Vivo Evaluation of a Reusable Double-Channel Sphincterotome

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In Vitro and in Vivo Evaluation of a Reusable Double-Channel Sphincterotome

R M Lee et al. Gastrointest Endosc. .

Abstract

Background: To date, one reusable, double-channel sphincterotome has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. Whether this device can be reprocessed easily and whether it is more durable than currently manufactured disposable sphincterotomes are uncertain.

Methods: Thirty double-channel, 20 mm, braided-wire sphincterotomes approved for multiple uses were studied in vitro/in vivo with regard to durability and sterilization. A cost analysis of reusable, disposable, and reprocessed disposable sphincterotomes was also carried out.

Results: Three of 10 sphincterotomes evaluated in vitro broke after 3, 4, and 8 uses. Electrical integrity was preserved after 10 uses in the remaining sphincterotomes. Nine sphincterotomes remained functional for at least 3 uses, five for 6 uses, and one for 10 uses. Culture results after inoculation demonstrated contamination with surviving organisms after manual cleaning and no growth after ethylene oxide sterilization. Sixty-one procedures were performed in vivo using 20 sphincterotomes (mean number of uses 3.1). No evidence of procedurally related infection occurred with reuse. Cost per use of this reusable sphincterotome was calculated to be $62.98; it became cost effective after 2.2 and 7.9 uses when compared with disposable and reprocessed, disposable sphincterotomes, respectively.

Conclusions: This reusable sphincterotome proved to be safe, easily sterilized, and electrically intact after repeated use. In vivo, however, a progressive loss of function limited the mean number of uses to 3.1. In settings that preclude reuse of reprocessed disposable accessories, this reusable sphincterotome may provide a means to decrease costs associated with endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.

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