Glenoid shape is sexually dimorphic

A geometric morphometric analysis and supplement to the Walch classification system


  • Matthew Zdilla West Virginia University
  • Evan French Division of Physical Therapy, School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, OH, USA
  • Halee Sowinski Department of Pathology, Anatomy, and Laboratory Medicine (PALM), West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV, USA
  • Uriel Alfaro-Gomez Department of Human Anatomy, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Nuevo León, Mexico
  • Santos Guzmán-López Department of Human Anatomy, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Nuevo León, Mexico
  • Rodrigo Elizondo-Omaña Department of Human Anatomy, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Nuevo León, Mexico
  • Alejandro Quiroga-Garza Department of Human Anatomy, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Nuevo León, Mexico



anatomy, arthroplasty, glenohumeral joint, scapula, shoulder, Walch classification


Uniform assessment of the glenoid anatomy is fundamental in establishing uniform standards of care. Subjectivity in classification inherent in the absence of quantification permits deficiency in glenoid assessment methods (e.g., Walch classifications). Therefore, this report aims to objectively quantify the variance of glenoid fossa contours in both sexes via geometric morphometric techniques. A total of 135 glenoid fossae from 135 adult Mexican individuals, who had undergone CT scanning for non-shoulder-related reasons, were randomly selected for this study. Geometric morphometric analysis, including principal component analysis, canonical variate analysis, and two-block partial least squares analysis, was performed on glenoid contours in coronal and axial planes among males and females of varied age groups. The canonical variate analysis of the glenoid revealed sexual dimorphism in both the coronal and axial glenoid contours. Males tend to have a move concave glenoid contour than females, especially in the axial plane. Partial least squares analysis revealed a shape-relationship between coronal and axial contours— when coronal contours are relatively concave, axial contours also exhibit concavity; conversely, when there is minimal concavity in one dimension, there tends to be minimal concavity in the other. This manuscript establishes a novel means of assessing the glenoid cavity through geometric morphometrics; in doing so, the objective and quantifiable methods can be an important supplement to evolving glenoid assessments such as the Walch classification system. The novel approach used in this research revealed sexual dimorphism in the shape of the glenoid cavity as well as a relationship between coronal and axial contours.


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How to Cite

Zdilla, M., French, E., Sowinski, H., Alfaro-Gomez, U., Guzmán-López, S., Elizondo-Omaña, R., & Quiroga-Garza, A. (2023). Glenoid shape is sexually dimorphic: A geometric morphometric analysis and supplement to the Walch classification system. Proceedings of the West Virginia Academy of Science, 95(1).