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A comparative analysis of fatty infiltration and muscle atrophy in patients with chronic rotator cuff tears and suprascapular neuropathy


Beeler, Silvan; Ek, Eugene T H; Gerber, Christian (2013). A comparative analysis of fatty infiltration and muscle atrophy in patients with chronic rotator cuff tears and suprascapular neuropathy. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 22(11):1537-1546.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Little is known of the mechanisms that lead to the muscle changes associated with rotator cuff disorders. We have observed that the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) appearance of fatty infiltration (FI) and muscle atrophy (MA) differ between chronic cuff tears and suprascapular neuropathy, suggesting different pathophysiology. This study compares the different MRI changes that occur in chronic cuff tears and suprascapular neuropathy.
METHODS: Two groups were retrospectively identified: (1) RCT group (20 shoulders): patients with chronic tears of the supraspinatus and/or infraspinatus without electromyographic (EMG) evidence of suprascapular neuropathy; (2) neuro group (17 shoulders): patients with EMG documented suprascapular nerve dysfunction and absence of a rotator cuff tear. Magnetic resonance arthrograms were analyzed for the degree of FI and MA, and the morphology of the muscle was assessed, in particular the muscle border, pattern of FI, and extent of involvement.
RESULTS: The muscle changes that occur following chronic cuff tears differ from that following denervation secondary to suprascapular neuropathy, especially with respect to the muscle border, degree of perineural fat, and overall distribution of FI. Highly specific and characteristic morphological patterns of FI exist for both chronic cuff tears and suprascapular neuropathy.
CONCLUSION: Chronic rotator cuff tendon tears and suprascapular neuropathy are both associated with FI and MA of the rotator cuff muscles. The pattern of FI is markedly different in the 2 situations. These findings have diagnostic potential and may serve as a basis for further research concerning type, severity, and evolution of FI under different conditions and after treatment.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Little is known of the mechanisms that lead to the muscle changes associated with rotator cuff disorders. We have observed that the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) appearance of fatty infiltration (FI) and muscle atrophy (MA) differ between chronic cuff tears and suprascapular neuropathy, suggesting different pathophysiology. This study compares the different MRI changes that occur in chronic cuff tears and suprascapular neuropathy.
METHODS: Two groups were retrospectively identified: (1) RCT group (20 shoulders): patients with chronic tears of the supraspinatus and/or infraspinatus without electromyographic (EMG) evidence of suprascapular neuropathy; (2) neuro group (17 shoulders): patients with EMG documented suprascapular nerve dysfunction and absence of a rotator cuff tear. Magnetic resonance arthrograms were analyzed for the degree of FI and MA, and the morphology of the muscle was assessed, in particular the muscle border, pattern of FI, and extent of involvement.
RESULTS: The muscle changes that occur following chronic cuff tears differ from that following denervation secondary to suprascapular neuropathy, especially with respect to the muscle border, degree of perineural fat, and overall distribution of FI. Highly specific and characteristic morphological patterns of FI exist for both chronic cuff tears and suprascapular neuropathy.
CONCLUSION: Chronic rotator cuff tendon tears and suprascapular neuropathy are both associated with FI and MA of the rotator cuff muscles. The pattern of FI is markedly different in the 2 situations. These findings have diagnostic potential and may serve as a basis for further research concerning type, severity, and evolution of FI under different conditions and after treatment.

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22 citations in Web of Science®
25 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:November 2013
Deposited On:09 Dec 2013 08:12
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 00:31
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1058-2746
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2013.01.028
PubMed ID:23642348

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