European Radiology

, Volume 14, Issue 12, pp 2331–2336 | Cite as

2D SPLASH: a new method to determine the fatty infiltration of the rotator cuff muscles

  • Werner KennEmail author
  • Dirk Böhm
  • Frank Gohlke
  • Christian Hümmer
  • Herbert Köstler
  • Dietbert Hahn


The objective of this paper is to quantify the fatty degeneration (infiltration) of rotator cuff muscles with a new spectroscopic FLASH (SPLASH) sequence. Before planned surgery (reconstruction or muscle transfer), 20 patients (13 men, 7 women; 35–75 years) with different stages of rotator cuff disease underwent an MR examination in a 1.5-T unit. The protocol consists of imaging sequences and a newly implemented SPLASH, which allows an exact quantification of the fat/water ratio with a high spatial resolution in an arbitrarily shaped region of interest (ROI). The percentages of fat in the rotator cuff muscles were determined. To determine statistically significant differences between the different stages of rotator cuff tear, a Kruskal-Wallis H test was used. Fatty infiltration of the supraspinatus muscle was correlated with cross-sectional area (CSA) measures (Bravais-Pearson). We found significant differences between different stages of rotator cuff disease, the fatty infiltration and the volume loss (determined by the occupation ratio) of the supraspinatus muscle. With the increasing extent of rotator cuff disease, fatty infiltration increases significantly, as does the volume loss of the supraspinatus muscle. Comparing fatty infiltration and the occupation ratio individually, there was only a moderate inverse correlation between fatty infiltration and the occupation ratio, with considerable variation of data. Fatty infiltration of the infraspinatus muscle occurred when the infraspinatus tendon was involved to a lesser extent. The SPLASH sequence allows exact quantification of fatty infiltration in an arbitrarily shaped ROI. The extent of atrophy and fatty infiltration correlates with the size of the tear. Atrophy and fatty infiltration correlate only moderately and should be evaluated separately.


Rotator cuff Fatty degeneration Atrophy MR spectroscopy Muscle 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Werner Kenn
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dirk Böhm
    • 2
  • Frank Gohlke
    • 2
  • Christian Hümmer
    • 1
  • Herbert Köstler
    • 1
  • Dietbert Hahn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyUniversity of WürzburgWurzburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryUniversity of WürzburgWurzburgGermany

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