[Acromio-humeral distance and acromial shape in 3-dimensional computerized tomography reconstruction. Side comparison in supraspinatus outlet syndrome]

Unfallchirurg. 1997 Nov;100(11):874-9. doi: 10.1007/s001130050207.
[Article in German]


Mechanical irritations of the supraspinatus tendon due to a reduction of the subacromial space are considered to be a potential cause of supraspinatus outlet syndrome. The aim of the current study was, therefore, to provide a method of improved measurement of the acromiohumeral distance and the evaluation of the acromial shape. In seven patients aged 50-60 years with unilateral supraspinatus outlet syndrome, imaging with standardized, high-resolution computed tomography (CT) was performed in order to demonstrate the acromion and the subacromial space three-dimensionally. The acromiohumeral distance was measured in three reconstructed frontal sections, and the two sides of each patient were directly compared. The acromial shape was compared with the classification of Bigliani as derived from conventional radiography. Whereas the Constant Score was found to be significantly reduced in the diseased shoulders (p < 0.01), the acromiohumeral distance was not significantly lower in three standardized frontal sections. In five cases the classification of the acromial form from the conventional radiograph was confirmed by 3D CT, whereas in two cases it was shown to be different. Our results suggest that primary or secondary changes of the acromial form can be more accurately evaluated with 3D CT than with conventional radiography. A direct comparison of the two sides in patients with supraspinatus syndrome does not suggest a reduction of acromiohumeral distance in the diseased shoulder.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Rotator Cuff / diagnostic imaging*
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome / classification
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / instrumentation*