Glenohumeral joint injection: a comparative study of ultrasound and fluoroscopically guided techniques before MR arthrography

Eur Radiol. 2009 Mar;19(3):722-30. doi: 10.1007/s00330-008-1200-x. Epub 2008 Oct 29.


To assess the variability in accuracy of contrast media introduction, leakage, required time and patient discomfort in four different centres, each using a different image-guided glenohumeral injection technique. Each centre included 25 consecutive patients. The ultrasound-guided anterior (USa) and posterior approach (USp), fluoroscopic-guided anterior (FLa) and posterior (FLp) approach were used. Number of injection attempts, effect of contrast leakage on diagnostic quality, and total room, radiologist and procedure times were measured. Pain was documented with a visual analogue scale (VAS) pain score. Access to the joint was achieved in all patients. A successful first attempt significantly occurred more often with US (94%) than with fluoroscopic guidance (72%). Leakage of contrast medium did not cause interpretative difficulties. With US guidance mean room, procedure and radiologist times were significantly shorter (p < 0.001). The USa approach was rated with the lowest pre- and post-injection VAS scores. The four image-guided injection techniques are successful in injection of contrast material into the glenohumeral joint. US-guided injections and especially the anterior approach are significantly less time consuming, more successful on the first attempt, cause less patient discomfort and obviate the need for radiation and iodine contrast.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthrography / methods*
  • Contrast Media / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intra-Articular / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Shoulder Joint / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography / methods*


  • Contrast Media