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J Rheumatol 1991 Jan;18(1):112-114

Hemorrhagic subcutaneous bursitis.

Strickland RW, Vukelja SJ, Wohlgethan JR, Canoso JJ

Department of Medicine, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC 20307-5001.

Hemarthrosis is a well recognized complication of a number of conditions. Hemorrhagic subcutaneous bursitis is less understood. We encountered a patient with a myeloproliferative disease who developed hemorrhagic olecranon bursitis. Upon reviewing other patients with subcutaneous bursitis, we found that hemorrhagic bursitis also occurs in the setting of traumatic or idiopathic bursitis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and septic bursitis.


Arch Intern Med 1989 Nov;149(11):2527-2530

Treatment of nonseptic olecranon bursitis. A controlled, blinded prospective trial.

Smith DL, McAfee JH, Lucas LM, Kumar KL, Romney DM

Department of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland.

We enrolled 42 patients with nonseptic olecranon bursitis in a double-blind prospective treatment trial to compare the efficacy of an intrabursal steroid preparation with that of an oral anti-inflammatory agent. Patients were randomized into one of four treatment regimens: (1) methylprednisolone acetate (20 mg) intrabursal injection and oral naproxen (1 g/d for 10 days), (2) methylprednisolone acetate (20 mg) intrabursal injection and oral placebo for 10 days, (3) oral naproxen (1 g/d for 10 days), and (4) oral placebo for 10 days. The degree of swelling in millimeters was assessed at study introduction and at 1, 3, and 6 weeks. At 6 months, the number of patients requiring reaspiration for bursitis recurrence was tabulated. Data at 1 week indicated that patients treated with an intrabursal methylprednisolone acetate injection (20 mg) demonstrat ed the most rapid decrease in swelling. At 6 weeks, the methylprednisolone-treated groups demonstrated sustained improvement. At 6 months, the mean number of reaspirations per patient for reaccumulation of bursal fluid was higher in groups 3 (1.0 +/- 1.2) and 4 (0.4 +/- 0.7). An intrabursal methylprednisolone acetate 20-mg injection seems to be the most effective treatment regimen for nonseptic olecranon bursitis.


Acta Radiol [Diagn] (Stockh) 1982;23(3A):255-258

Traumatic olecranon bursitis. Radiologic observations.

Saini M, Canoso JJ

The affected elbow of 28 patients with traumatic olecranon bursitis was radiographically compared with the homologous elbow of 28 matched controls. Olecranon spurs, amorphous calcium deposits, or both, were present in 16 patients and 4 controls (p less than 0.01). Air was injected in the bursa in 12 additional patients. Nodules in the bursal floor were noted in 10, and the bursa was partially septated in 8. Olecranon spurs, present in 6 patients, corresponded to the insertion of the triceps tendon. With elbow flexion the bursa flattened and lengthened while the olecranon process glided distally beneath the bursal floor.


Arthritis Rheum 1977 Jul;20(6):1213-1216

Idiopathic or traumatic olecranon bursitis. Clinical features and bursal fluid analysis.

Canoso JJ

Thirty cases of idiopathic olecranon bursitis were studied. Most had previous local trauma. The process was unilateral and often associated with nontender pitting edema in cases of short duration. Ten patients exhibited a bony spur at the olecranon process, and amorphous calcific deposits were seen in 6. The bursal fluid was hemorrhagic with a xanthochromic supernatant, and the mucin clot test was poor or fair. Leukocyte count averaged 878/mm3, predominantly mononuclears. Many cells contained inclusion bodies. Glucose, total protein, and complement (C3) concentration averaged 80, 60, and 60% of the respective serum values.


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