October 9, 1996

Infection With Mycobacterium abscessus Associated With Intramuscular Injection of Adrenal Cortex Extract—Colorado and Wyoming, 1995-1996

JAMA. 1996;276(14):1130. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540140018007

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DURING March-April 1996, a physician in the Denver area administered intramuscular injections of a preparation labeled "adrenal cortex injection" to 69 patients in Colorado as part of a weight-loss regimen. As of August 7, a total of 47 (68%) of these persons were reported to have developed abscesses (diameters ranging from 0.5 cm to 4.0 cm) at the site of injection (either gluteal or deltoid muscle). An investigation of these episodes by the physician and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment identified Mycobacterium abscessus as the cause of the infections. This report summarizes preliminary findings of the ongoing investigation, which indicate that injectionsite abscesses were associated with contaminated injectable preparations.

The 47 case-patients ranged in age from 20 to 63 years (median: 40 years); 46 were female. The interval from injection to presentation for medical care ranged from 10 to 114 days (median: 33 days). Seventeen