Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 245–250 | Cite as

Incidence of rotator cuff tears in the setting of calcific tendinopathy on MRI: a case controlled comparison

  • Nicholas M. Beckmann
  • Michael Q. Tran
  • Chunyan Cai
Scientific Article



To compare the incidence of rotator cuff tears on shoulder MRI in patients who have rotator cuff calcific tendinopathy with that in patients without calcific tendinopathy in a frequency-matched case–control study.

Materials and methods

Retrospective review shoulder MRIs of 86 patients with rotator cuff calcific tendinopathy and an 86-patient age-, gender-, and laterality-matched control group using frequency matching.


No statistically significant difference (odds ratio: 0.72, 95% confidence interval: 0.38–1.38, p = 0.32) was found in the incidence of rotator cuff tear in the calcific tendinopathy (27.9%) and control groups (34.9%). A significant (p < 0.001) difference in the size of rotator cuff tear was seen between the two groups, with 12.5% of tears being full-thickness in the calcific tendinopathy group and 63.3% of tears being full-thickness in the control group. Only 3 of the 24 (12.5%) rotator cuff tears present in the calcific tendinopathy group occurred at the site of tendon calcification.


Patients presenting with indeterminate shoulder pain and rotator cuff calcific tendinopathy are not at increased risk for having a rotator cuff tear compared with similar demographic patients without calcific tendinopathy presenting with shoulder pain. Calcific tendinopathy and rotator cuff tears likely arise from different pathological processes.


Calcium apatite Calcific tendinopathy Rotator cuff tear Periarthritis Musculoskeletal Hydroxyapatite 



1. Memorial Hospital System in Houston.

2. We acknowledge the support provided by the Biostatistics/Epidemiology/Research Design (BERD) component of the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS) for this project. CCTS is mainly funded by a grant (UL1 TR000371) from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), awarded to the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NCATS.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© ISS 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas M. Beckmann
    • 1
  • Michael Q. Tran
    • 1
  • Chunyan Cai
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic and Interventional ImagingUTHealth-McGovern School of MedicineHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Internal Medicine, McGovern Medical SchoolThe University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Biostatistics/Epidemiology/Research/Design Core, Center for Clinical and Translational SciencesThe University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonHoustonUSA

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