During 24 months, 200 upper gastrointestinal endoscopies were performed on 193 patients. Blood cultures were obtained before and five and 30 minutes after the procedure using thiol (50 ml) and trypticase soy broth (100 ml) media. The mean endoscopic time was 34 minutes. Sixteen patients developed bacteremia (8%). Twelve groups of microorganisms were detected in positive blood cultures: Streptococcus (5 species), Lactobacillus sp, Veillonella alcalescens, Staphylococcus aureus, Staph epidermidis, Propionibacterium acnes, Corynebacterium acnes, and Bacillus subtilis. Seven patients had positive blood cultures at five and 30 minutes, eight at five minutes, and one at 30 minutes only. There was no clear correlation of bacteremia with the age or previous history of the patient, biopsy, active bleeding, endoscopic time, or findings. A follow-up study of all patients for six months to two years indicated no complications related to endoscopy and/or bacteremia.
(Arch Intern Med 137:594-597, 1977)