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Table 2 Are there quantitative imaging biomarkers associated with the severity of neck and shoulder MSDs?

From: Systematic review of quantitative imaging biomarkers for neck and shoulder musculoskeletal disorders

MSD Classification or diagnosis
Author(s)
Biomarker Severity measure
mean & range if available
Symptom duration
(mean & SD if available)
Major results (association between biomarker & disease) Conclusion
Neck disorders and symptoms
 Neck pain
 Dibai Filho (2012) [37]
Skin temperature NDI
Cases: 8.33 (SD = 2.65) Controls: 2.27 (SD = 1.27)
Unknown Correlation NDI and skin temperature in right versus left trapezius; thermal asymmetry: NS. No
 Neck pain
 Elliott (2008) [46]
Fat index indicating fatty infiltration (relative fat) NDI
Cases: 21.9 (SD = 7.5) Controls: 45.5 (SD = 15.9)
Cases: 33.7 (20.6) mo Controls: 20.3 (9.6) mo Within groups there was no association between NDI and fat levels; total upper fat, p = 0.15; total fat, p = 0.94. (No description of total vs upper fat in paper) No
 Neck pain
 Javanshir (2011) [48]
Longus colli muscle CSA, APD, LD, and LD/APD NDI
33 (SD = 0.5)
VAS pain intensity
5.1 (SD = 0.8)
≥ 3 moa NDI and CSA: rho = −0.45, p = 0.05, dominant side; rho = −0.48, p = 0.03, non-dominant side.
NDI and APD: rho = −0.49, p = 0.03, dominant side; rho = −0.45, p = 0.05 non-dominant side.
NDI and LD or shape ratio, NS.
VAS and CSA, APD, LD or shape ratio, NS.
Yes
Shoulder disorders and symptoms
 Rotator cuff tear (partial & full) or rotator cuff disease
 Keener (2015) [34]
Rotator cuff tear enlargement (see paper for definition), shoulder pain ASES score - American Shoulder & Elbow
Cases: 98.3 (IRQ = 10)
Controls: 100(IQR = 0)
Surgeons SST score - simple shoulder test (score normalized to 100)
Cases: 91.7 (IQR = 33)
Controls: 100(IQR = 0)
VAS pain intensityCases & controls: 1.0 (IQR = 0)
Unknown ASES: smaller w. advancing tear type, p < 0.05; median decreased by 31.9 points w. new pain, p < 0.05.
SST: smaller w. advancing tear type, p < 0.05; median decreased by 14.8 points w. new pain, p < 0.05.
VAS: NS. w. advancing tear type; median increased by 3 points w. new pain, p < 0.05.
Yes
 Shoulder impingement syndrome
 Park (2007) [70]
Difference in mean skin temperature btwn shoulder sides VAS pain intensity
6.6 (5.5–9)
22.6 (SD = 40.4) mo NS differences btwn normal, hypothermic, and hyperthermic cases for VAS (all cases in this analysis, hypothermic defined as abnormally low temperature in involved side vs uninvolved side, hyperthermic defined as opposite of hypothermic). No
Neck/shoulder disorders and symptoms
 Neck/shoulder pain
 Nilsen (2007) [42]
Finger skin blood flow VAS pain intensity: maximal pain response, shoulder pain response, neck pain response
Maximal pain response:
Cases: 25 (SD = 20.0)
Controls: 15 (SD = 16.1)
Shoulder pain response:
Cases: 17 (SD = 16.9)
Controls: 10 (SD = 12.6)
Neck pain response:
Cases: 20 (SD = 20.3)
Controls: 9 (SD = 11.1)
> 3 mo a Maximal pain response: correlation w. finger skin blood flow response during first 10 min of the stressful task in cases, (rho = 0.52, p = 0.004), NS in controls (rho = 0.06, p = 0.71. Yes
 Neck/shoulder pain
 Strøm (2009) [43]
Blood flow Complaint severity score: neck pain, shoulder pain, musculoskeletal complaint severity index (MCI; mean of 7 pain items). 0 = no complaint; 12 = severe complaint. VAS during experiment: pain intensity and general tension
Median (range) cases: neck pain 3 (1–12), shoulder pain 4 (0–12), MCI 2.5 (0.3–4.1) controls: neck pain 0 (0–6), shoulder pain 0 (0–6), MCI 0.5 (0–2.1) These scores are a composite measure of intensity x duration during the 4 weeks preceding the experiment.
3 subjects (2 women) reported having had shoulder and neck pain for less than 12 months, 13 (7 women) for 1–years, three (all men) for 5–10 years, and five (all women) for more than 10 years. Cases: correlation between pain VAS and blood flow in active trapezius at end of work task (90 min): rho = 0.47, p = 0.03.
No correlation at 15 or 45 min into work task, p > 0.05. Controls: no correlation at 15, 45, or 90 min into work task, p ≥ 0.05.
Cases: correlation between pain VAS and blood flow in contralateral trapezius at end of work task (90 min): rho = −0.53, p < 0.01.
No correlation at 15 or 45 min into work task, p > 0.05. Controls: similar direction of results, no rho or p-values supplied.
Yes
 Neck/shoulder pain
 Takiguchi (2010) [79]
Minimal & maximal standardized uptake values (SUV) of [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (18F–FDG) VAS > 6 mo, with pain at least 1×/moa Trapezius: mean SUVs & pain VAS (SUVmax: r = −0.603, p < 0.0001; SUVmin: r = −0.405, p < 0.0001).
Gluteus maximus: mean SUVs & pain VAS, NS.
Yes
  1. a: inclusion criteria