Sonographic evaluation of subacromial space

Ultrasonics. 2004 Apr;42(1-9):683-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ultras.2003.11.015.


Goal of the study: The purpose of this study is to compare the accuracy of sonographic to radiographic measurements of subacromial space, and verify its variations in relation to acromial morphology, age, sex and rotator cuff pathologies.

Materials and methods: As a result, we have compared a radiographic examination to sonographic examination, each measuring the subacromial space in 200 random shoulders, with a personal method. The sonographic examination was performed by using a HDI 5000 ultrasound scanner Sono-CT with 7.5 MHz linear array transducer. No stand-off pad was utilized.

Results: The statistical analysis of the data derived from the two measurements was not sufficient to conclude that the two techniques are different (p>0.8). They also correspond with the radiographic morphology of the acromion. The size of subacromial space was related to the acromial morphology, female gender, and rotator cuff pathology, however, it was not related to age.

Discussion and conclusions: Our results clearly show that sonographic measurements are very close to those obtained by X-ray (p>0.8). The Bland-Altman analysis showed that for all groups, the were small enough to give us confidence that the sonographic technique may be used in place of the radiographic one for clinical purposes. One-way ANOVA showed that sonographic measurements were statistically different among the four groups (p<0.05). The sonography demonstrated precision, accuracy and carefulness in the measurement of the subacromial space.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acromion / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography
  • Shoulder Joint / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography