Objectives Sports related aneurysmal degeneration and thrombosis of the Posterior Circumflex Humeral Artery (PCHA) has been known to cause symptoms of digital ischemia (DI) in elite volleyball players. Studies have reported symptoms of DI in as much as 28% of the elite indoor volleyball players. The purpose of this study was to determine the diagnostic value of the Shoulder PCHA Pathology and digital Ischemia – Questionnaire (SPI-Q) for detection of sports related PCHA disease using ultrasound data as the standard of reference. Methods The SPI-Q was completed by elite indoor volleyball players from the highest and single highest Dutch volleyball division and by elite beach volleyball players participating in the 2014 Grand Slam Beach Tournament The Hague (GSBTH). Ultrasound assessment of the dominant shoulder was performed on-site using the SPI-US protocol. The SPI-Q sensitivity, specificity, positive – and negative predictive value and positive – and negative likelihood ratios, and the diagnostic odds ratio were calculated for detection of sports related PCHA disease, using ultrasound as the standard of reference. Results Two hundred twenty-four elite male indoor volleyball players from the Dutch division were included in this study and 62 elite male and female beach volleyball players participating in the GSBTH: a total of 278 players. Thirty-five percent of the players reported symptoms of DI. The prevalence of PCHA disease was 6.1%. For the SPI-Q we found a sensitivity of 18% (95% CI 4–43), specificity of 64% (95% CI 58–70), positive predictive value of 3% (95% CI 0.7–8.9) and negative predictive value of 92% (95% CI 87–96), positive likelihood ratio of 0.50 (95% CI 0.18–1.40), negative likelihood ratio of 1.28 (95% CI 1.01–1.62) and a diagnostic odds ratio of 0.39 (95% CI 0.11–1.38). Conclusion The diagnostic value of the SPI-Q to detect PCHA disease in elite volleyball players is poor, which makes it unsuitable as a diagnostic instrument for sports related PCHA disease specifically. However, it can be used to assess all-cause symptoms of DI and raise awareness within athletes and sports physicians, which is important for preventing ischemic complications.
Bouwmeester, O. V. A., van de Pol, D., Kuijer, P. P. F. M., Planken, R. N., Terpstra, A., Pannekoek-Hekman, M., ... Maas, M. (2018). Diagnostic properties of the SPIQuestionnaire to detect Posterior Circumflex Humeral Artery Disease in elite volleyball players: a cross-sectional study. European Journal of Radiology, 98, 20-24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrad.2017.10.002