From the AGA Journals

Disposable duodenoscope shows clinical potential



A single-use duodenoscope may reduce the risk of postendoscopic infections while maintaining a high level of user satisfaction, based on a recent multicenter case series study.

At six tertiary referral centers in the United States, seven expert endoscopists performed more than 70 procedures with disposable scopes, ultimately reporting a median satisfaction score of 9 out of 10, according to lead author Venkataraman Muthusamy, MD, of UCLA Health in Los Angeles, and colleagues.

Writing for Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the investigators noted that duodenoscope-related infections represent a serious threat to public health, particularly when considered in the context of antibiotic resistance and the high number of endoscopic procedures performed annually.

“Solutions to the duodenoscope contamination problem remain elusive,” the investigators wrote. “Evidence-based interventions are important to guard against labor-intensive measures that are unfeasible, unaffordable, and potentially ineffective.”

According to the investigators, routine culture surveillance and field investigations following suspected duodenoscope-related infections may fail to detect culprit bacteria or shortcomings in equipment reprocessing; and even when performed correctly, standard reprocessing can be insufficient.

“Using current reprocessing techniques, improved compliance with reprocessing guidelines is not a definitive solution because reusable duodenoscope contamination may be present even after high-level disinfection or sterilization,” the investigators wrote, going on to cite Food and Drug Administration–reported contamination rates of 5.4% for high-concern organisms.

To determine if a single-use endoscope could overcome such risks, the investigators first conducted preclinical testing with animal laboratories and simulations, finding that a single-use duodenoscope was comparable with three reusable scope models. The present study, which included 73 patients with normal pancreaticobiliary anatomy, evaluated clinical feasibility, safety, and performance. The single-use duodenoscope was a first-generation device by Boston Scientific named EXALT Model D.

Of the 73 patients, 13 underwent roll-in maneuvers and 60 underwent endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). The most common cause for ERCP was exchange or removal of biliary stent (55.0%), followed by evaluation of biliary defect or stricture (26.7%), then bile duct stone clearance (18.3%). The majority of ERCPs had an American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) procedural complexity grade of 2 (43.3%) or 3 (43.3%), while a minority were graded 1 (11.7%) or, most severe, 4 (1.7%).

Two ERCPs required crossover to a reusable duodenoscope for completion. In the first instance, crossover was needed because dilation of a biliary stricture was unsuccessful, with the endoscopist reporting difficulties maneuvering the disposable scope, possibly because of shaft stiffness. In the second case, crossover was elected because cannulation was unsuccessful with standard access techniques; however, cannulation also was not possible with the reusable scope, necessitating an alternative approach.

According to the investigators, safety signals were comparable with standard practice. No serious, scope-related adverse events were reported. Serious adverse events of any kind were relatively uncommon; three patients developed post-ERCP pancreatitis within 7 days of ERCP, one developed a postsphincterotomy bleed, and one had worsening of a preexisting infection that required hospitalization.

As described above, the endoscopists reported a median overall satisfaction score of 9 out of 10. Specifically, 17 out of 23 scored ERCP maneuvers (73.9%) received a median 5 out of 5 performance rating. Out of 1,289 total ratings, almost all (98.1%) received a performance rating of at least 3 out of 5. Low-scoring performance characteristics (receiving at least one “1” rating), included elevator function; aspects of positioning; visualization; image quality, brightness, or appearance; and ease and ability of passing ancillary devices through the channel of the single-use duodenoscope and into the papilla.

“The new device provides an alternative to reusable duodenoscopes that may harbor residual contamination despite appropriately implemented reprocessing,” the investigators concluded.

They also pointed out that switching to disposable scopes would not completely put an end to postendoscopic infections.

“The single-use duodenoscope is a timely and innovative option to improve exogenous infection control, and must be used with awareness of the continued risk of endogenous infection, with standard infection control precautions and continued diligence in the use of existing reusable devices,” they wrote.

The study was funded by Boston Scientific. The investigators reported additional relationships with Medtronic, Ethicon/Torax, CapsoVision, and others.

SOURCE: Muthusamy V et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Oct 11. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2019.10.052.

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