Tangent sign

Dr Joachim Feger and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

The tangent sign is useful in helping to quantify supraspinatus muscle belly fatty atrophy with a positive sign implicated with a poorer outcome after supraspinatus tendon tear repair.

On a sagittal oblique plane, a line is drawn between the upper surface of the scapular spine and the upper surface of the coracoid process (medial aspect). A normal supraspinatus muscle belly lies above this line (negative sign) and an abnormal supraspinatus muscle belly (small from fatty atrophy) lies below this line (positive sign) 1-3

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Article information

rID: 67526
Section: Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Tangent sign of supraspinatus fatty atrophy

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: positive tangent sign
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  • Case 2: negative tangent sign
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