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Rofo. 2006 Jul;178(7):706-12. Epub 2006 Jun 30.

[Magnetic resonance analysis of the subscapularis muscle after open anterior shoulder stabilization].

[Article in German]

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Klinik für Strahlenheilkunde, Charité, Berlin.



Analysis of the magnetic resonance imaging of the subscapularis musculotendinous unit (SSC) after primary and revision open shoulder stabilization and their correlation with the clinical function.


In a retrospective cohort study, 13 patients (mean age of group A: 36.5 years) after primary and 12 (mean age of group B: 34.2 years) after revision open stabilization underwent postoperative MRI of the shoulder. The digital data was analyzed with respect to the vertical und transverse diameters (V[slashed circle], T[slashed circle]) in a defined image slice. A signal intensity analysis was performed (infraspinatus/subscapularis signal-to-noise ratio = ISP/SSC SNR). The clinical examination included the SSC tests and signs and the Constant and Rowe score. Twelve healthy volunteers (group C) served as the control.


From group C to group B, the mean V[slashed circle] of the SSC decreased significantly (p < 0.05) as did the mean T[slashed circle] of the cranial part of the SSC muscle (= crSSC) (p < 0.05). The mean T[slashed circle] of the caudal part of the SSC muscle (= caSSC) did not differ significantly between all groups (p > 0.05). The ISP-SSC SNR was significantly lower (p < 0.05) in the crSSC of groups A und B than in group C. In the caSSC, the SNR increased in groups A and B. In 53.8 % of group A and 92.3 % of group B, clinical signs of SSC insufficiency were found. There was no significant difference between the Constant and the Rowe score in both groups (p > 0.05). Complete tendon ruptures were not observed in any case.


MRI enables semi-quantitative analysis of the postoperative changes of the subscapularis muscle. The decrease of the ISP/SSC SNR points to a fatty degeneration in the crSSC. The results provide indications of the causes of the clinical dysfunction of the subscapularis musculotendinous unit after open shoulder stabilization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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