Arthroscopic evaluation of ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging for diagnosis of rotator cuff tear

Ortop Traumatol Rehabil. Mar-Apr 2008;10(2):111-4.


Background: Rotator cuff tear--diagnosis; comparison of MRI, ultrasonographic and arthroscopic findings.

Materials and methods: Retrospective study--20 patients treated for shoulder pain due to rotator cuff tear, initially conservatively and after more than 6 months by arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Comparison of intraoperative findings with preoperative US and MRI images.

Results: Sensitivity of USG--1.0, specificity 0.9. Sensitivity of MRI--0.92, specificity 1.0.

Discussion: Clinical examination and physical tests are not fully reliable diagnostic tools in patients with shoulder pain, because symptoms of different conditions overlap. Using ultrasound to visualize the shoulder area has some advantages to other imaging techniques such as CT scan or MRI, and has a very good sensitivity and good specificity. Many authors agree that MRI is one of the most effective methods for the diagnosis of rotator cuff tear.

Conclusions: Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging are both very sensitive techniques for diagnosis of rotator cuff abnormalities. Ultrasonography can be used as a primary method owing to its fast procedure and affordable cost.<br />

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lacerations / diagnosis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rotator Cuff / diagnostic imaging
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Shoulder Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Shoulder Joint / injuries*
  • Shoulder Pain / diagnosis*
  • Shoulder Pain / diagnostic imaging
  • Shoulder Pain / etiology
  • Tendon Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Tendon Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography