The incidence of transient bacteremia following endoscopic injection sclerotherapy of esophageal varices was evaluated in 18 patients subjected to 40 sessions of injection sclerotherapy. Blood cultures were obtained before sclerotherapy and at five minutes, 30 minutes, and 24 hours after sclerotherapy. The injectors as well as the endoscope were cultured before and after the procedure. Blood cultures were positive in two patients after injection sclerotherapy (Enterobacter cloacae and Staphylococcus species, coagulase-negative, respectively) for an incidence of 5% of transient bacteremia. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was the most frequent bacteria isolated from the injector after sclerotherapy. We conclude that the incidence of transient bacteremia after sclerotherapy is no higher than routine upper-intestinal endoscopy.