The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the diagnostic capabilities of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed using a dedicated-extremity MR system in detecting lesions of the rotator cuff and glenoid labrum. This retrospective study compared the MR results obtained in 47 patients that underwent MRI using a 0.2-Tesla extremity MR system (E-scan) to the surgical findings. MR images of the shoulder were obtained as follows: shoulder coil, T1-weighted, coronal-oblique and axial images; short Tau inversion recovery (STIR), coronal-oblique images; and T2-weighted, coronal-oblique, sagittal-oblique, and axial images. The MR examinations were interpreted by three highly experienced, musculoskeletal radiologists. Open surgical (N = 26) or arthroscopic (N = 21) procedures were performed within a mean time of 33 days after MRI. The surgical findings revealed rotator cuff tears in 28 patients and labral lesions in 9 patients. For the rotator cuff tears, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were 89%, 100%, 100%, and 90%, respectively. For the labral lesions, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were 89%, 95%, 80%, and 97%, respectively. The findings indicated that there was good agreement comparing the MR results obtained using the low-field extremity MR system to the surgical findings for determination of lesions of the rotator cuff and glenoid labrum. Notably, the statistical values determined for the use of this MR system were comparable to those reported in the peer-reviewed literature for the use of whole-body, mid- and high-field-strength MR systems.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.