Imaging algorithms for evaluating suspected rotator cuff disease: Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound consensus conference statement

Radiology. 2013 May;267(2):589-95. doi: 10.1148/radiol.13121947. Epub 2013 Feb 11.


The Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound convened a panel of specialists from a variety of medical disciplines to reach a consensus about the recommended imaging evaluation of painful shoulders with clinically suspected rotator cuff disease. The panel met in Chicago, Ill, on October 18 and 19, 2011, and created this consensus statement regarding the roles of radiography, ultrasonography (US), computed tomography (CT), CT arthrography, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, and MR arthrography. The consensus panel consisted of two co-moderators, a facilitator, a statistician and health care economist, and 10 physicians who have specialty expertise in shoulder pain evaluation and/or treatment. Of the 13 physicians on the panel, nine were radiologists who were chosen to represent a broad range of skill sets in diagnostic imaging, different practice types (private and academic), and different geographical regions of the United States. Five of the radiologists routinely performed musculoskeletal US as part of their practice and four did not. There was also one representative from each of the following clinical specialties: rheumatology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, orthopedic surgery, and nonoperative sports medicine. The goal of this conference was to construct several algorithms with which to guide the imaging evaluation of suspected rotator cuff disease in patients with a native rotator cuff, patients with a repaired rotator cuff, and patients who have undergone shoulder replacement. The panel hopes that these recommendations will lead to greater uniformity in rotator cuff imaging and more cost-effective care for patients suspected of having rotator cuff abnormality.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Humans
  • Rotator Cuff / pathology*
  • Shoulder Pain / diagnosis*
  • Shoulder Pain / pathology