Subacromial/Subdeltoid Septic Bursitis Associated With Isotretinoin Therapy and Corticosteroid Injection

Jonathan A. Drezner, MD; Brian J. Sennett, MD


J Am Board Fam Med. 2004;17(4) 

In This Article


Subacromial septic bursitis after corticosteroid injection is exceedingly rare. This report describes a case of Staphylococcus aureus subacromial septic bursitis after corticosteroid injection in a patient undergoing isotretinoin (Accutane) therapy. This case is only the third reported in the literature linking a corticosteroid injection with septic subacromial bursitis[1,2] and the first to describe an association with isotretinoin therapy.

Isotretinoin is an established treatment of severe nodulocystic acne and a variety of dermatologic conditions.[3] Infectious complications from isotretinoin are rare. However, increased S aureus colonization of the nasal mucosa and skin is well established,[4] and cases of S aureus infection associated with isotretinoin therapy are reported.[5,6] Isotretinoin should be recognized as a risk factor for developing infections such as septic bursitis after percutaneous injection. Physicians performing these injections should be aware of this uncommon complication.


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