The prevalence of calcifications at the origin of the extensor carpi radialis brevis increases with age

Document Type: RESEARCH PAPER

Authors

1 Massachusetts General Hospital

2 Dell Medical School -- The University of Texas at Austin

Abstract

Background: Enthesopathy of the extensor carpi radialis brevis origin [eECRB] is a common idiopathic, non-inflammatory disease of middle age that is characterized by excess glycosaminoglycan production and frequently associated with radiographic calcification of its origin. The purpose of our study was to assess the relationship of calcification of the ECRB and advancing age.
Methods: We included 28,563 patients who received an elbow radiograph and assessed the relationship of calcifications of the ECRB identified on radiograph reports with patient age, sex, race, affected side, and ordering indication using multivariable logistic regression.
Results: Calcifications of the ECRB were independently associated with age (OR:1.04;p<0.001); radiographs ordered for atraumatic pain (OR2.6;p<0.001) or lateral epicondylitis (OR5.5;p<0.001); and Hispanic ethnicity (OR1.5;p<0.001) and less likely to be found at the left side (OR0.68;p<0.001). Similarly, incidental calcifications of the ECRB, those on radiographs not ordered for atraumatic pain or lateral epicondylitis, were independently associated with age (OR1.03;p<0.001) and Hispanic ethnicity (OR1.5;p<0.024) and less likely to be found on the left side (OR0.71;p<0.001).
Conclusions: We observed that about nine percent of people have ECRB calcification by the time they are in their sixth decade of life and calcifications persist in the absence of symptoms which supports the idea that eECRB is a common, self-limited diagnosis of middle age.

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