Sonographic assessment of subacromial bursa distension during arm abduction: establishing a threshold value in the diagnosis of subacromial impingement syndrome

J Med Ultrason (2001). 2018 Apr;45(2):287-294. doi: 10.1007/s10396-017-0839-9. Epub 2017 Oct 26.

Abstract

Purpose: In this study, we aimed to establish a quantitative threshold value in the diagnosis of subacromial impingement syndrome by measuring the thickness of the subacromial bursa during abduction and adduction.

Materials and methods: Forty-five patients with subacromial impingement syndrome and 54 healthy individuals underwent dynamic shoulder ultrasonography. The subacromial bursa, between the supraspinatus tendon margin and peribursal adipose tissue, was measured between the acromion and humeral head at its widest part. The subacromial impingement ratio was calculated by dividing the subacromial bursa thickness during abduction to the subacromial bursa thickness during adduction. Shapiro-Wilk test was used in the assessment of normal distribution of parameters.

Results: The mean subacromial bursa thickness in the abduction position was 1.8 ± 1.1 mm in the study group and 0.9 ± 0.3 mm in the control group. The mean subacromial bursa thickness in the adduction position was 0.9 ± 0.5 mm in the study group and 0.8 ± 0.3 mm in the control group. The subacromial impingement ratio showed a statistically significant difference between groups (p < 0.0001), and the ratio being 2.0 ± 0.5 in the study group and 1.2 ± 0.1 in the control group. For measurements performed in the abduction position, the best cut-off value was calculated as 1.3 mm, and sensitivity and specificity were 70.6 and 85.2%, respectively. The best cut-off value was 1.4 for the subacromial impingement ratio, and sensitivity and specificity were 88.2 and 96.3%, respectively.

Conclusion: Subacromial impingement ratio is a very practical and reliable method in subacromial impingement syndrome diagnosis.

Keywords: Dynamic shoulder ultrasonography; Subacromial bursa; Subacromial impingement syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bursa, Synovial / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Reference Values
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography / methods*