Is it safe to reuse a syringe of glutaraldehyde cross-linked collagen? A microbiological study

P J Culligan, R Rackley, S Koduri, R B Thomson, L Schwabe, P K Sand
Journal of Urology 2000, 164 (4): 1275-6

PURPOSE: We evaluated the safety of saving partially used syringes of glutaraldehyde cross-linked collagen for subsequent treatment sessions in an individual.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: After periurethral injection in an office setting 56 partially used syringes of glutaraldehyde cross-linked collagen were stored in a refrigerator for 1 to 61 weeks (mean 15). Collagen from all 56 syringes was then cultured qualitatively using a broth medium at 35C and semiquantitatively using a chocolate agar plate at 22 to 30C for 5 days each.

RESULTS: A qualitative broth culture was positive for coagulase negative staphylococcus but the results of semiquantitative chocolate agar culture of material from the same syringe were negative. All cultures of the other 55 syringes were negative.

CONCLUSIONS: The positive culture most likely resulted from contamination during periurethral injection or the culturing process. Minimal contamination from and the great potential cost savings of reusing glutaraldehyde cross-linked collagen for subsequent treatments in an individual indicate the need for an expanded study involving multiple centers.

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