Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery

Identification of a genetic variant associated with rotator cuff repair healing

Published:April 08, 2016DOI:


      A familial and genetic predisposition for the development of rotator cuff tearing has been identified. The purpose of this study was to determine if a familial predisposition exists for healing after rotator cuff repair and if the reported significant association with a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the ESRRB gene is present in patients who fail to heal.

      Materials and methods

      The study recruited 72 patients undergoing arthroscopic rotator cuff repair for a full-thickness posterosuperior tear. Magnetic resonance imaging studies were performed at a minimum of 1 year postoperatively (average, 2.6 years). Healing failures were classified as lateral or medial. Self-reported family history of rotator cuff tearing data and genome-wide genotypes were available. Characteristics of cases with and without a family history of rotator cuff tearing were compared, and a comparison of the frequency of SNP 1758384 (in ESRRB) was performed between patients who healed and those who failed to heal.


      Of the rotator cuff repairs, 42% failed to heal; 42% of patients reported a family history of rotator cuff tear. Multivariate regression analysis showed a significant association between familiality and overall healing failure (medial and lateral failures) (P = .036) and lateral failures independently (P = .006). An increased risk for the presence of a rare allele for SNP rs17583842 was present in lateral failures compared with those that healed (P = .005).


      Individuals with a family history of rotator cuff tearing were more likely to have repair failures. Significant association of a SNP variant in the ESRRB gene was also observed with lateral failure.

      Level of evidence


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