Characteristics of dynamic magnetic resonance imaging for shoulder stiffness in postoperative breast cancer patients: A preliminary case series

Int J Surg Case Rep. 2021 Oct:87:106391. doi: 10.1016/j.ijscr.2021.106391. Epub 2021 Sep 25.

Abstract

Introduction and importance: Shoulder stiffness in postoperative breast cancer causes a decrease in their quality of life. However, the underlying pathology is not fully understood, and no study has investigated the dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in these patients. Therefore, the current preliminary study aimed to investigate the dynamic MRI findings in patients with shoulder stiffness occurring after breast cancer surgery.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the electronic medical records of postoperative breast cancer patients with shoulder stiffness, dated from January 2015 to December 2020. The baseline characteristics, breast cancer treatment methods, range of active shoulder motion, and location of the abnormal enhancement on dynamic MRI were assessed.

Results: The mean age of the patients was 57.8 ± 6.1 years (range, 47-63 years) and the mean duration of shoulder symptoms was 5.6 ± 3.6 months (range, 2-12 months). An abnormal enhancement of the rotator interval and axillary pouch was observed on dynamic MRI of all the included patients.

Conclusion: This study presents the first case reports of the dynamic MRI findings in postoperative breast cancer patients with shoulder stiffness. All patients had abnormal enhancement of the rotator interval and axillary pouch.

Keywords: Abnormal blood flow; Abnormal enhancement; Case series; Dynamic MRI; Postoperative breast cancer; Shoulder stiffness.