Synovial fluid biomarkers: association with chronic rotator cuff tear severity and pain

Chien An Shih, Kuo Chen Wu, Chung Jung Shao, Tai Chang Chern, Wei Ren Su, Po Ting Wu, I. Ming Jou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: We tested the hypothesis that biomarkers in the synovial fluid of the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint are correlated with visual analog scale (VAS) scores, functional scores, and ultrasound findings of chronic rotator cuff tear (RCT) severity. Methods: We measured biomarkers in shoulder joint synovial fluid of 42 patients with partial-thickness (21), nonmassive full-thickness (10), and massive full-thickness (11) RCTs. Pain duration, tear severity, and VAS and functional scores were compared with interleukin (IL) 1β, IL-6, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 1, and MMP-13 levels. Results: Both MMP-1 and MMP-13 levels were significantly highest in the massive full-thickness group. MMP-13 levels were significantly different between groups, but proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β and IL-6 levels were not. However, IL-1β levels were significantly positively correlated with VAS (r = 0.66; P <.01) and functional scores (r = 0.61; P <.01), but IL-6, MMP-1, and MMP-13 levels were not. Conclusions: IL-1β levels in shoulder synovial fluid correlated positively with shoulder pain and functional scores in patients with chronic RCTs. Both MMP-1 and MMP-13 levels were altered and increased with cuff tear severity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-552
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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