Objective: To assess the diagnostic performance of shoulder MR arthrography with 3D isotropic fat-suppressed (FS) turbo spin-echo sequence (TSE-SPACE) for supraspinatus tendon tears in comparison with 2D conventional sequences at 3.0 T.
Materials and methods: The study was HIPAA-compliant and approved by the institutional review board with a waiver of informed consent. Eighty-seven arthroscopically confirmed patients who underwent 3.0 T shoulder MR arthrography with 2D sequences and 3D TSE-SPACE were included in a consecutive fashion from March 2009 to February 2010. Two reviewers independently analyzed 2D sequences and 3D TSE-SPACE. Sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and interobserver agreement (κ) were compared between 2D sequences and 3D TSE-SPACE for full-thickness and partial-thickness supraspinatus tendon tears together and for partial-thickness supraspinatus tendon tears alone.
Results: There were 33 full-thickness tears and 28 partial-thickness tears of supraspinatus tendons. For full-thickness and partial-thickness supraspinatus tendon tears together, the mean sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of both readers were 96, 92, and 94% on 2D sequences and 91, 84, and 89% on 3D TSE-SPACE. For partial-thickness supraspinatus tendon tears alone, the mean sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were 95, 92, and 94% on 2D sequences and 84, 85, and 84% on 3D TSE-SPACE. There was no statistical difference between 2D sequences and 3D TSE-SPACE. Interobserver agreements were almost perfect on 2D conventional sequences and substantial on 3D TSE-SPACE.
Conclusion: Compared with 2D conventional sequences, MR arthrography using 3D TSE-SPACE was comparable for diagnosing supraspinatus tendon tears despite limitations in detecting small partial-thickness tears and in discriminating between full-thickness and deep partial-thickness tears.