The value of sonoelastography in the diagnosis of supraspinatus tendinopathy-a comparison study

Br J Radiol. 2019 Mar;92(1095):20180951. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20180951. Epub 2019 Jan 28.


Objective:: This study assessed the association between tendon stiffness on sonoelastography and grades of tendinopathy on MRI in patients with supraspinatus tendinopathy.

Methods:: 25 consecutive adult patients with clinically suspected supraspinatus tendinopathy and no prior history of trauma referred for MRI of the shoulder were selected for this study. The supraspinatus tendinopathy was graded in consonance with MRI findings (Grade I, normal; Grade II, mild tendinopathy; Grade III, moderate tendinopathy; and Grade IV, marked tendinopathy). Strain ratios were evaluated. Spearman rank correlation test was used, to analyze the association of the MRI grade with strain ratios.

Results:: Out of 25 patients, Grade I changes on MRI were found in 5 patients (20.0%), Grade II tendinopathy in 13 patients (52.0%), Grade III in 6 patients (24.0%), and Grade IV in 1 patient (4.0%). The mean sonoelastography strain ratio of supraspinatus tendons were 0.76 ± 0.32 in patients with Grade I, 0.59 ± 0.40 in Grade II, 0.31 ± 0.10 in Grade III and 0.15 ± 0.02 in Grade IV patients respectively. The strain ratios showed good correlation with the MRI grade p < 0.05.

Conclusion:: We compared the MRI findings of supraspinatus tendinopathy with sonoelastography strain ratios. Sonoelastography showed good correlation with MRI.

Advances in knowledge:: Sonoelastography in supraspinatus tendinopathy may help in predicting improvement or worsening of the tendon health at the tissue level. Therefore, there is a possibility that it has use in the rehabilitation of professionals suffering from supraspinatus tendinopathy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rotator Cuff / diagnostic imaging*
  • Rotator Cuff / pathology
  • Shoulder Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Shoulder Joint / pathology
  • Tendinopathy / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tendons / diagnostic imaging
  • Tendons / pathology