Ultrasonography for diagnosis of rotator cuff tear

Skeletal Radiol. 1996 Apr;25(3):221-4. doi: 10.1007/s002560050068.


In this study the clinical usefulness of ultrasonography in the diagnosis of rotator cuff tears was assessed. One hundred twenty-two patients undergoing preoperative ultrasonography were evaluated surgically. Three different ultrasonographic machines were applied with a 7.5-MHz linear-array transducer. Surgery confirmed a sensitivity of 79% for full-thickness tears and 50% for partial thickness tears. In 73 patients with negative ultrasonographic findings, the specificity was 100% for full-thickness tears and 90% for partial-thickness tears. The diagnostic sensitivity for full-thickness tears of the Hitachi EUB-340 system was significantly lower than those of Hitachi EUB-415 and EUB-515, and thus the former cannot be recommended for detection of rotator cuff tears. The sensitivity with regard to partial-thickness tears was also significantly lower with the Hitachi EUB-340 system as compared to the Hitachi EUB-515. There were no significant differences in false-positive rate among the three machines used. In conclusion, accurate ultrasonographic diagnosis of rotator cuff tear requires a high-resolution machine, as well as considerable experience in interpretation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthrography
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Preoperative Care
  • Rotator Cuff / diagnostic imaging
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries*
  • Rupture
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Transducers
  • Ultrasonography