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Rotator Cuff Tear Morphologic Parameters at Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Relationship With Muscle Atrophy and Fatty Infiltration and Patient-Reported Function and Health-Related Quality of Life

Bureau, Nathalie J., MD, MSc*†; Deslauriers, Maguy, MD, BSc*; Lepage-Saucier, Marianne, MD*†; Rouleau, Dominique M., MD, MSc; Roy, André, MD§; Tétreault, Patrice, MD, MSc†∥; Hagemeister, Nicola, PhD†¶

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: September/October 2018 - Volume 42 - Issue 5 - p 784–791
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0000000000000740
Musculoskeletal Imaging

Objective The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between rotator cuff tear (RCT) morphologic parameters and muscle atrophy and fatty infiltration, and patient-reported outcome measures, in patients with symptomatic full-thickness RCT.

Methods Rotator cuff tear location, length, width, thickness, and musculotendinous junction position were assessed in 57 magnetic resonance imaging scans and correlated to the outcome measures using multivariate regression analysis.

Results Supraspinatus tendon tear length (odds ratio [OR], 2.218; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.460–3.370), supraspinatus musculotendinous junction position (OR, 2.037; 95% CI, 1.322–3.137), and infraspinatus tendon tear width (OR, 2.371; 95% CI, 1.218–4.615) were identified as the strongest determinants of supraspinatus muscle atrophy, supraspinatus muscle fatty infiltration, and infraspinatus muscle fatty infiltration, respectively.

Conclusions The extent of supraspinatus tendon and musculotendinous junction retraction influences the development of supraspinatus muscle atrophy and fatty infiltration, whereas the extent of infraspinatus tendon tear width influences the development of infraspinatus muscle fatty infiltration. Morphologic parameters defining RCT at magnetic resonance imaging did not correlate with clinical shoulder function scores.

From the *Department of Radiology and

Research Center, Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal;

Orthopedic Research Center, Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal;

§Department of Medicine and

Division of Orthopedics, Department of Surgery, Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal; and

École de Technologie Supérieure, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Received for publication October 6, 2017; accepted November 13, 2017.

Correspondence to: Nathalie J. Bureau, MD, MSc, Radiology Department, Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, 1058 Saint-Denis, Montréal, Québec, Canada H2X 3J4 (e-mail:

The research for this article was funded in part by Institut de Recherche Robert-Sauvé en Santé et Sécurité du Travail (grant 099-825). N.H. is supported by the Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute Robert-Sauvé, a private funding agency (grant 099-825), Montréal, Québec, Canada. N.J.B. is supported by Chercheur-Boursier Junior 1 from the Fonds de Recherche du Québec–Santé (Quebec Government Funding Agency), Montréal, Québec, Canada, and the Fondation de l'Association des Radiologistes du Québec (Quebec Association of Radiologists Foundation), Montréal, Québec, Canada (grant FRQS-ARQ 31144). D.M.R. is a consultant for Bioventus and Wright. The institution (HSCM) has received funding from Arthrex, Conmed, Depuy, Linvatec, Smith & Nephew, Stryker, Synthes, Tornier, Wright, and Zimmer.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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