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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018, Article ID 8961805, 7 pages
Research Article

Age-Related Changes of Elastic Fibers in Shoulder Capsule of Patients with Glenohumeral Instability: A Pilot Study

1Center for Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Rozzano, Milan, Italy
2Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Unit, Humanitas Gavazzeni Institute, Bergamo, Italy
3Clinical Orthopaedics, Department of Clinical and Molecular Science, School of Medicine, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy
4Humanitas University, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Via Manzoni 113 and Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Via Manzoni 56, 20089 Rozzano, Milan, Italy
5Ospedale Generale Regionale “F. Miulli”, Acquaviva delle Fonti, Bari, Italy
6Shoulder and Elbow Unit, “D. Cervesi” Hospital, Cattolica-AUSL della Romagna, Ambito Rimini, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to B. Di Matteo; moc.liamg@oettamid.odrareb

Received 11 March 2018; Accepted 24 June 2018; Published 18 July 2018

Academic Editor: Sae Hoon Kim

Copyright © 2018 A. Castagna et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Recurrent shoulder dislocations occur much more frequently in adolescents than in the older population but a clear explanation of this incidence does not exist. The aim of the present study was to define the age-related distribution of the elastic fibers (EFs) in the shoulder capsule’s extracellular matrix as a factor influencing shoulder instability. Materials and Methods. Biopsy specimens were obtained from the shoulder capsule of patients divided preoperatively into three groups: Group 1 consisted of 10 male patients undergoing surgery for unidirectional traumatic anterior instability (TUBS); Group 2 consisted of 10 male patients undergoing surgery for multidirectional instability (MDI); Group 3 represents the control, including 10 patients with no history of instability. In addition to the group as a whole, specific subgroups were analyzed separately on the basis of the age of subjects: > 22 or < to 22 years. All the samples were analyzed by histochemical (Weigert’s resorcinol fuchsin and Verhoeff’s iron hematoxylin), immunohistochemical (monoclonal antielastin antibody), and histomorphometric methods. Results. Both the elastin density and the percentage of area covered by EFs were significantly higher in younger subjects (<22 years old). Furthermore, the elastin density and the percentage of area covered by EFs were significantly higher in specimens of group of patients affected by multidirectional shoulder instability in comparison to the other two groups. Conclusion. Data of the present study confirmed the presence of an age-related distribution of EFs in the human shoulder capsule. The greater amount of EFs observed in younger subjects and in unstable shoulders could play an important role in predisposing the joint to first dislocation and recurrence.