Acta Orthopaedica et Traumatologica Turcica
Research Articles

Assessment of whether the rabbit subscapularis tendon model is suitable for studying the human chronic rotator cuff pathology: Discovery of a new ligament connecting the glenoid and subscapularis tendon

1.

Clinic of Trauma Orthopedics, Gansu Provincial Hospital of TCM, Lanzhou, China

AOTT 2020; 54: 497-501
DOI: 10.5152/j.aott.2020.19246
Read: 105 Downloads: 36 Published: 28 October 2020

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the anatomical relationship between the subscapularis tendon and glenosubscapularal ligament (GSL) that we accidentally identified from our previous study on a rabbit shoulder model and to determine whether this anatomical relationship has an impact on the rabbit shoulder model for studying the human chronic rotator cuff pathology.

Methods: In this study, 15 male New Zealand rabbits aged 12 weeks and weighing 2.5 kg were used. Moreover, 3 rabbits were sacrificed for the anatomical and histological investigation of the relationship between the subscapularis tendon and GSL at baseline. The remaining 12 rabbits underwent the subscapularis tendon tenotomy from the lesser tuberosity using a standardized procedure. The GSL was cut on the left side and preserved on the right side. For histomorphometric analysis, 6 rabbits were first sacrificed at 6 weeks and then the remaining 6 rabbits at 12 weeks.

Results: In all the rabbits, GSL was identified, connecting the upper portion of glenoid and subscapularis muscle–tendon junction. The mean thickness of the middle portion of GSL was 1.1±0.2 mm; the mean length of GSL was 8.4±2.3 mm. The mean widths of the proximal and distal attachments were 2.4±0.3 and 4.2±0.5 mm, respectively. The mean size of the native subscapularis muscle fibers was 122.6±4.3 μm2. The mean size of the muscle fibers in shoulders with tenotomy alone was 112.6±6.2 and 102.6±4.8 μm2 at 6 and 12 weeks, respectively. The mean size of the muscle fibers in shoulders with tenotomy plus GSL cut severing was 88.3±9.7 and 56.4±5.2 μm2 at 6 and 12 weeks, respectively. The significant muscle atrophy was observed both at 6 and 12 weeks in the shoulders with tenotomy plus GSL cut compared with those with tenotomy alone as well as those with the native subscapularis. However, the muscle atrophy was not significantly different in the shoulders with tenotomy alone at different time points.

Conclusion: Because GSL may prevent the subscapularis retraction, the rabbit subscapularis tendon model may not be suitable for studying the human chronic rotator cuff pathology if GSL is neglected or preserved.

Cite this article as: Zhang W, Zhou H, Feng M, Wang B, Su Q, Li J. Assessment of whether the rabbit subscapularis tendon model is suitable for studying the human chronic rotator cuff pathology: Discovery of a new ligament connecting the glenoid and subscapularis tendon. Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc 2020; 54(5): 497-501

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ISSN1017-995X EISSN 2589-1294