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This preliminary study assessed trimmed supraspinatus tendons from rotator cuff repairs (RCRs) to compare the samples' surgically cut ends and torn ends with histopathology and polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) imaging. PS-OCT can be used to assess collagen content and organization in birefringent tissue and shows promise in RCR. The data were compared to determine correlations between luminosity measured from histopathology and PS-OCT. Bivariate plots and a simple regression were performed to assess the linearity of the 2 groups, with a predictive value of less than .05 showing significant correlation. Approximately 50% of the visually inspected supraspinatus tendons acceptable for RCR exhibited collagen depletion when examined by histopathology, compared with PS-OCT. Because a strong correlation in collagen concentrations existed between histopathology and PS-OCT polarized back-reflection intensity, this study established the potential of PS-OCT for clinical use in the assessment of collagen content and organization to improving outcomes in RCR.


Christopher Rashidifard, Scott Martin, Namita Kumar, Ehsan Azimi, Bin Liu, Mark E Brezinski. Single-detector polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography for assessment of rotator cuff tendon integrity. American journal of orthopedics (Belle Mead, N.J.). 2012 Aug;41(8):351-7

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PMID: 22900245

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