Muscular and glenohumeral changes in the shoulder after brachial plexus birth palsy: An MRI study in a rat model

Francisco Soldado, David Benito-Castillo, Cesar G. Fontecha, Ignasi Barber, Mario Marotta, Sleiman Haddad, Mariano E. Menendez, Vasco V. Mascarenhas, Scott H. Kozin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Shoulder abnormalities are the major cause of morbidity in upper brachial plexus birth palsy (BPBP). We developed a rat model of upper trunk BPBP and compared our findings to previously reported animal models and to clinical findings in humans.Methods: Forty-three 5-day-old newborn rats underwent selective upper trunk neurectomy of the right brachial plexus and were studied 3 to 20 weeks after surgery. The passive shoulder external rotation was measured and the shoulder joint was assessed bilaterally by a 7.2T MRI bilaterally.Results: We found a marked decrease in passive shoulder external rotation, associated with a severe subscapularis muscle atrophy and contracture. None however developed the typical pattern of glenohumeral dysplasia.Conclusions: In contradiction with previous reports, our study shows that the rat model is not adequate for preclinical studies of shoulder dysplasia. However, it might serve as a useful model for studies analyzing shoulder contracture occurring after upper BPBP. © 2012 Soldado et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number9
    JournalJournal of Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Injury
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2012


    • Erb's palsy
    • Glenohumeral dysplasia
    • Shoulder anomalies following brachial plexus birth palsy
    • Shoulder internal rotation contracture


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