For atraumatic rotator cuff tears, genetics contributes to symptomatic tear risk and may influence rotator cuff healing after surgical repair. But little is known about how genetic factors influence rotator cuff tear patient characteristics at presentation. We collected saliva samples for genotyping from atraumatic rotator cuff tear patients. We examined nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with cuff tears in prior literature. We estimated associations of SNP dosage with (1) age at tear diagnosis, (2) bilateral atraumatic tear prevalence, and (3) tear size. Linear regression was used to estimate associations with diagnosis age adjusted for sex and principal components. Logistic regression and ordinal logistic regression were used to estimate associations with bilateral tear prevalence and tear size category, respectively, adjusting for age, sex, and principal components. Of 344 eligible patients, 336 provided sufficient samples for genotyping. Median age at tear diagnosis was 61, 22% (N = 74) had bilateral atraumatic tears, and 9% (N = 29) had massive tears. SNP rs13107325 in the SLC39A8 gene and rs11850957 in the STXBP6 gene were associated with younger diagnosis age even after accounting for multiple comparisons (rs13107325: −4 years, 95% CI = −6.5, −1.4; rs11850957: −2.7 years, 95% CI = −4.3, −1.1). No other significant associations were observed with diagnosis age, tear size, or bilateral tear prevalence. SLC39A8 encodes a Mn transporter. STXBP6 may play a role in inflammatory responses by altering phagocytosis and antigen presentation of monocytes and macrophages. Further research is needed to determine if genetic markers can be used alongside patient characteristics to aid in identifying optimal surgical repair candidates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)934-941
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2024


  • clinical
  • disease process
  • genetics
  • shoulder
  • tendon


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