Association of glenoid labral cysts with labral tears and glenohumeral instability: radiologic findings and clinical significance

Radiology. 1994 Mar;190(3):653-8. doi: 10.1148/radiology.190.3.8115605.


Purpose: To determine the relationship between labral cysts and labral tears and glenohumeral instability.

Materials and methods: Magnetic resonance (MR), clinical, and arthroscopic examinations of the shoulder and the surgical findings of 20 patients were correlated and retrospectively analyzed. A cystic-appearing mass adjacent to the labrum was the selection criterion for inclusion.

Results: MR imaging showed labral tear intimately associated with cystic-appearing mass in these 20 patients. The tear and cyst complex was located anteriorly in two patients, posteriorly in nine, and superiorly in nine. The mass extended into the spinoglenoid notch in six patients, the suprascapular notch in three, and both notches in four. Physical examination showed glenohumeral instability in the direction of the labral tear and cystic-appearing mass in 11 patients (55%). Findings at intraarticular surgery, performed in eight patients, confirmed a labral tear with communication between the joint space and the cyst.

Conclusion: Glenoid labral cysts are associated with glenoid labral tears and shoulder instability.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy
  • Bone Cysts / complications
  • Bone Cysts / diagnosis*
  • Bone Cysts / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / complications
  • Joint Instability / diagnosis*
  • Ligaments, Articular / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scapula / injuries*
  • Scapula / pathology
  • Shoulder Joint / pathology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed