Nationwide risk analysis of duodenoscope and linear echoendoscope contamination


Background and Aims

Contaminated duodenoscopes and linear echoendoscopes (DLEs) pose a risk for infectious outbreaks. To identify DLEs and reprocessing risk factors, we combined the data from the previously published nationwide cross-sectional PROCESS 1 study (Prevalence of contamination of complex endoscopes in the Netherlands) with the follow-up PROCESS 2 study.


We invited all 74 Dutch DLE centers to sample ≥2 duodenoscopes during PROCESS 1, and all duodenoscopes as well as linear echoendoscopes during PROCESS 2. The studies took place 1 year after another. Local staff sampled each DLE at ≤6 sites according to uniform methods explained by online videos. We used 2 contamination definitions: (1) any microorganism with ≥20 colony-forming units (CFU)/20 mL (AM20) and (2) presence of microorganisms with GI or oral origin, independent of CFU count (MGOs). We assessed the factors of age and usage by performing an analysis of pooled data of both PROCESS studies; additional factors including reprocessing characteristics were only recorded in PROCESS 2.


Ninety-seven percent of all Dutch centers (72 of 74; PROCESS 1, 66; PROCESS 2, 61) participated in one of the studies, sampling 309 duodenoscopes and 64 linear echoendoscopes. In total, 54 (17%) duodenoscopes and 8 (13%) linear echoendoscopes were contaminated according to the AM20 definition. MGOs were detected on 47 (15%) duodenoscopes and 9 (14%) linear echoendoscopes. Contamination was not age or usage dependent (all P values ≥.27) and was not shown to differ between the reprocessing characteristics (all P values ≥.01).


In these nationwide studies, we found that DLE contamination was independent of age and usage. These results suggest that old and heavily used DLEs, if maintained correctly, have a similar risk for contamination as new DLEs. The prevalence of MGO contamination of ∼15% was similarly high for duodenoscopes as for linear echoendoscopes, rendering patients undergoing ERCP and EUS at risk for transmission of microorganisms.

Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, 2020, 92 (3), 681–691