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Open Access The Anatomy of the Glenoid Labrum: A Comparison between Human and Dog

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The anatomy of the glenohumeral joint in humans is characterized by static and dynamic stabilizing structures. In particular the glenoid labrum (GL), the proximal attachment of the joint capsule and the lateral glenohumeral ligament, is an important passive stabilizer in the human shoulder. Although canine animal models are used frequently to investigate the complex biomechanics of the shoulder, few data regarding the microstructure of the canine GL are available. In this study, the anatomy of the canine GL and related structures (n = 20) was investigated and compared with the human anatomic situation (n = 36). In both human and beagle joints, the GL consisted of 3 zones—the transition zone, shifting zone, and meniscoid fold, but not all 3 zones were present in all joint segments from canine joints. In particular the peripheral parts of the GL showed rich vascularization in both species. The height and width of the GL in the histologic specimens indicated that the GL is of less importance as a passive stabilizer in dogs. Additional differences between the human and canine CL include the joint ligaments, tendons of the shoulder joint, and lack of rotator cuff. The structural and biomechanical characteristics of the joints of quadrupedal animals raise the question of their appropriateness for shoulder research.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Central Animal Research Facility, Medical School of the Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany 2: Orthopaedic Department, Medical School of the Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany 3: Institute for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Köln, Germany 4: Small Animal Clinic, Veterinary School of the Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, Germany

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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