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July 18, 1977

Dialysis ElbowOlecranon Bursitis From Long-Term Hemodialysis

JAMA. 1977;238(3):243. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280030049023

INFLAMMATION of the olecranon bursa is commonly associated with rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and trauma.1 To our knowledge, the association between this type of bursitis and long-term hemodialysis has not been previously reported.

In a dialysis population of approximately 140 patients, olecranon bursitis has developed in four during the last 18 months. These four patients (one man and three women), aged 41 to 70 years, have been on long-term hemodialysis for six to 54 months. With the exception of one patient in whom bursitis developed in both elbows, all had the lesion on the side of the vascular access for dialysis. All denied history of trauma; rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and septic arthritis were also excluded. Two patients responded to aspiration and local injection of nonabsorbable corticosteroids. The other two patients had recurrence of the lesions and required surgical excision of their bursae.

Report of a Representative Case  A 41-year-old man