Prevalence of HAGL lesions and associated abnormalities on shoulder MR examination

Skeletal Radiol. 2014 Mar;43(3):307-13. doi: 10.1007/s00256-013-1778-1. Epub 2013 Dec 15.


Objective: Humeral avulsion of the glenohumeral ligament (HAGL) is an uncommon shoulder injury. We report the prevalence of HAGL lesions and other associated shoulder injuries in a large series of shoulder MR examinations. All results were correlated with surgery.

Materials and methods: MR reports of 1,000 consecutive conventional shoulder MR exams performed on patients with shoulder pain were reviewed in our information system for the word HAGL. A total of 743 patients went on to surgery. There were 23 HAGL lesions reported at surgery. Those 23 examinations were reviewed retrospectively in consensus by two musculoskeletal radiologists. Scans were assessed for HAGL lesions, full or partial thickness supraspinatus, infraspinatus or subscapularis tendon tears, superior labral anterior posterior (SLAP) tears, anterior or posterior labral tears, and Hill-Sachs lesions.

Results: All 23 patients had HAGL lesions at surgery. Sixteen HAGL lesions were seen on prospective MR reading and 17 HAGL lesions were seen on retrospective MR consensus reading. Six HAGL lesions were not seen on retrospective consensus reading. Sixteen patients had Hill-Sachs deformities, ten had subscapularis tendon tears, five had supraspinatus tendon tears, six had superior labral tearing, and six had anterior labral tears. The above findings were confirmed on arthroscopy.

Conclusions: In this series, there was a 1.6 % prevalence on all MR examinations, and prevalence of 2.1 % seen on MR examination for those who went to surgery. Common injuries associated with HAGL lesions are Hill-Sachs deformities and subscapularis tendon tears. Anterior labral tears were seen in only six cases despite Hill-Sachs deformities in 16 patients. In patients with Hill-Sachs deformities without anterior labral tears, one must carefully assess for the presence of a HAGL lesion.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Joint Deformities, Acquired / epidemiology*
  • Joint Deformities, Acquired / pathology
  • Joint Deformities, Acquired / surgery
  • Lacerations / epidemiology*
  • Lacerations / pathology
  • Lacerations / surgery
  • Ligaments, Articular / injuries*
  • Ligaments, Articular / pathology*
  • Ligaments, Articular / surgery
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Trauma / epidemiology*
  • Multiple Trauma / pathology
  • Multiple Trauma / surgery
  • Observer Variation
  • Prevalence
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Shoulder Injuries*
  • Shoulder Joint / pathology*
  • Shoulder Joint / surgery