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Tennis elbow, is it inflammation? - Histopathological characteristics of epicondylitis

Eugene Kim, Jai Hyung Park, Dong-Hoon Kim, Byeong Ryong Han, Seunghee Lee

Abstract


Aim: Angiofibroblastic hyperplasia was previously found to be the main histological characteristic of epicondylitis. Anti-inflammatory agents are widely used for conservative management of epicondylitis, and appear to be effective. We aim to analyze the histopathological features of epicondylitis in more detail and determine whether inflammatory features exist, and re-evaluate the previous study by a new dying technique.

Materials and methods: Surgical specimens were stained by hematoxylin and eosin(H&E) stain for histological analysis, and Masson’s trichrome stain was added to assess collagenous degeneration. those, according to The histopathological observations from these stains (fibroblastic proliferation, vascular proliferation, hyaline degeneration, inflammatory cellular infiltration, calcific deposits) in patients diagnosed as having epicondylitis of elbow that was refractory to conservative treatment were classified.

Results: All specimens present high grade fibroblastic proliferation (Grades 2-3), and vascular proliferation, hyaline degeneration, and calcific deposition are common features of the surgical specimens (Grades 1-3). But, inflammatory cellular infiltration is rare (2 of 11), and low grade (Grade1).

Conclusion: The main histopathological features of chronic refractory epicondylitis of elbow are degenerative changes including fibroblastic proliferation and vascular proliferation, and inflammatory changes are rare. We suggest that anti-inflammatory agents have limitations for the treatment of chronic refractory epicondylitis.

 


Keywords


Tennis elbow; histology; inflammation; hyperplasia

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References


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