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February 1973

Bacteremia After Proctoscopic Biopsy

Author Affiliations

Catholic Hospitals Medical Education Foundation Kansas City, Mo

Arch Intern Med. 1973;131(2):304. doi:10.1001/archinte.1973.00320080140022

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To the Editor.  —In the introductory paragraph of their paper "Bacteremia Following Proctoscopic Biopsy of a Rectal Polyp" (130:127-128, 1972), the authors state, in reference to bacteremia following proctoscopic biopsy of a rectal polyp, "to our knowledge this occurrence has not been recorded before."Apparently, they are unaware of the article "Evaluation of Blood Cultures after Sigmoidoscopy" (N Engl J Med 257:773-774, 1957). This is a report of 50 patients who had a sigmoidoscopic examination done for the usual clinical indications. Among these patients, Aerobacter aerogenes was recovered from the blood immediately after sigmoidoscopy in one patient who had a polyp from which a biopsy was taken at the time of the examination.In another report, "Bacteremia Following Sigmoidoscopy" (Am Heart J 60:863-866, 1960), a study involving 100 patients, bacteria were recovered from one of 200 specimens of blood obtained presigmoidoscopy, and from 12 of 400 blood cultures obtained after

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