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Diagnostic and Therapeutic Endoscopy
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 853781, 7 pages
Research Article

Rinsability of Orthophthalaldehyde from Endoscopes

MicroChem Laboratory, Inc., 1107-C South Airport Circle, Euless, TX 76040, USA

Received 24 January 2012; Accepted 9 March 2012

Academic Editor: Kazuo Inui

Copyright © 2012 Norman Miner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Orthophthalaldehyde high level disinfectants are contraindicated for use with urological instruments such as cystoscopes due to anaphylaxis-like allergic reactions during surveillance of bladder cancer patients. Allergic reactions and mucosal injuries have also been reported following colonoscopy, laryngoscopy, and transesophageal echocardiography with devices disinfected using orthophthalaldehyde. Possibly these endoscopes were not adequately rinsed after disinfection by orthophthalaldehyde. We examined this possibility by means of a zone-of-inhibition test, and also a test to extract residues of orthophthalaldehyde with acetonitrile, from sections of endoscope insertion tube materials, to measure the presence of alkaline glutaraldehyde, or glutaraldehyde plus 20% w/w isopropanol, or ortho-phthalaldehyde that remained on the endoscope materials after exposure to these disinfectants followed by a series of rinses in water, or by aeration overnight. Zones of any size indicated the disinfectant had not been rinsed away from the endoscope material. There were no zones of inhibition surrounding endoscope materials soaked in glutaraldehyde or glutaraldehyde plus isopropanol after three serial water rinses according to manufacturers' rinsing directions. The endoscope material soaked in orthophthalaldehyde produced zones of inhibition even after fifteen serial rinses with water. Orthophthalaldehyde was extracted from the rinsed endoscope material by acetonitrile. These data, and other information, indicate that the high level disinfectant orthophthalaldehyde, also known as 1,2-benzene dialdehyde, cannot be rinsed away from flexible endoscope material with any practical number of rinses with water, or by drying overnight.