Warm Saline Enhances Shoulder Tendinitis Treatment

Warm solution improves dissolution of calcium deposits during therapy for rotator cuff tendonitis

TUESDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- The use of a warm saline solution improves outcomes and reduces procedure time for patients undergoing double-needle ultrasonography (US)-guided percutaneous treatment for rotator cuff calcific tendinitis (RCCT), according to a study published in the February issue of Radiology.

Luca Maria Sconfienza, M.D., of the IRCCS Policlinico San Donato in Milan, and associates conducted a statistical analysis of 462 patients with painful RCCT to measure the influence of saline temperature on US-guided lavage treatment duration and outcomes. Patients received saline at room temperature (233 patients) or at 42 degrees Celsius (229 patients).

The researchers found that the duration of the procedure was significantly shorter with use of warm saline than with saline at room temperature (mean, 576 versus 777 seconds). Calcium dissolution was significantly easier in patients treated with warm saline; and based on subgroup analysis there was a significant difference for both soft and hard calcifications. There were no significant differences in patient discomfort, as measured by the visual analog scale. Eight patients in the warm saline group and 20 in the room temperature group were seen to have postprocedural bursitis (P < 0.022).

"In the treatment of RCCT, warm saline appears to reduce procedure duration and improve calcification dissolution while reducing the frequency of postprocedural bursitis," the authors write.

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