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Information about a piece of news titled Kirsten Lundgreen defended PhD thesis on rotator cuff tendinopathy

Kirsten Lundgreen defended PhD thesis on rotator cuff tendinopathy


On Friday April 4 defended MD Kirsten Lundgreen her PhD thesis on "The role of apoptosis in rotator cuff tendinopathy".


The poor healing capacity of the rotator cuff has sparked studies of degenerative mechanisms, which could potentially be minimized with biologic treatments at the time of repair. The contribution of apoptosis to rotator cuff tendinopathy is poorly understood.


The picture to the right shows a healthy supraspinatus tendon, incl biceps tendon.


The aim of this thesis in orthopaedics has been to assess the presence of apoptosis in different stages of rotator cuff tendinopathy, focusing on cellular alterations, proliferation, muscle changes and the effect of smoking.



44 patients were included: 15 patients with full-thickness tears, 9 patients with partial-thickness tears, 10 smokers with full-thickness tears; 10 patients with labral tears served as controls.


Tendon and muscle samples were harvested during arthroscopic surgery. The samples were analysed using HE- and Alcian-blue staining for histology, and immunohistochemistry for proliferation and apoptosis.


Smoking worsens tendon degeneration

This thesis revealed increased apoptosis to be present in both partial- and full-thickness rotator cuff tears.


The phenomenon was accompanied by increased proliferation, which may indicate increased apoptosis to be part of a failed healing response.


Full-thickness tears demonstrated reduced muscular proliferative activity. Smokers demonstrated more pronounced tendon degeneration and increased apoptosis compared to non-smokers.


Above, you see a supraspinatus tendon rupture.


Professor Lars Engebretsen and Dr Øystein Bjerkestrand Lian served as supervisors for Kirsten Lundgreen.



Program for April 4 (Rødt Auditorium, Labbygget, Building 25, Ullevål University Hospital)

10:15 - 11:00 Trial lecture "How does understanding the biology of rotator cuff tendon tears influence surgery?”

13:15 - 16:00 PhD defense



Dissertation committee

1. opponent: Prof Andrew J Carr, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

2. opponent: Prof Bernhard Jost, Dep of Orthopaedics & Traumatology, Kantonspital St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland


Chair: Hanne Solveig Dagfinrud, Revmatologisk avdeling, Diakonhjemmet sykehus, Oslo


Head of dissertation committee: Jan Erik Madsen, Dep of Orthopeadics, Ullevål University Hospital




Trial lecture and PhD defense will be presented in English.