The diagnostic value of magnetic resonance arthrography of the shoulder in detection and grading of SLAP lesions: comparison with arthroscopic findings

Eur J Radiol. 2012 Sep;81(9):2343-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2011.07.006. Epub 2011 Sep 9.


Purpose: The purpose of the study is to determine the usefulness of magnetic resonance arthrography (MRA) in diagnosis and grading of superior labrum anterior to posterior (SLAP) lesions of the Glenoid Labrum Compared with surgery

Material and methods: This was a prospective study including fifty nine clinically diagnosed SLAP patients. The study was done during the period from January 2008 to June 2010. All patients were submitted to history taking, clinical examination and conventional MRI examination of the shoulder, MRA was done in patients with negative conventional MRI, all of these patients underwent arthroscopy for diagnosis wither open or arthroscopy for diagnosis and treatment and results were compared with MRA findings.

Main outcome measures: Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and overall accuracy of MR arthrography in detection and grading of SLAP lesions of the gelnoid labrum.

Results: Out of fifty nine patients, 25 patients had positive MR findings in conventional MRI, and 34 patients had negative MR findings, who underwent MR arthrography; 10 out of them had normal arthrogram (only 6 of them underwent arthroscopy), 22 had SLAP (superior labrum anterior to posterior) lesions, one had Bankart's lesion and one had internal impingement syndrome. These results were compared with arthroscopy results. The overall sensitivity of MRA in detection of SLAP lesions was 90% while the specificity was 50%, negative predictive value (NPV) was 66.6% and positive predicative value (PPV) was 81.8%. MRA and arthroscopy results were concurrent in 79.3% patients.

Conclusion: MR arthrography is a sensitive minimally invasive technique for detection and grading of SLAP lesions, it can help in avoiding patients unnecessary diagnostic arthroscopy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Shoulder Dislocation / pathology*
  • Shoulder Injuries*
  • Shoulder Joint / pathology*
  • Trauma Severity Indices*