MR arthrography of the shoulder using an anterior approach: optimal injection site.
PURPOSE To present a systematic approach to teaching a technique for arthrography of the shoulder. Using an adhesive marker-plate with radiopaque coordinates, precise sites for puncture can be identified and the need for fluoroscopic guidance obviated. MATERIAL AND METHODS Forty-six glenohumeral arthrograms were performed in 45 patients; in 1 case involving examination of both shoulders. The stages of the technique are described in detail, as are the fundamental aspects of achieving an effective glenohumeral injection. Pain intensity was measured in all patients using a verbal description scale. RESULTS Shoulder arthrography was successful in all cases. Average time taken for the procedure was 7 min, with no difference in the respective times required by an experienced radiologist and a resident. The procedure was well tolerated by most patients, with slight discomfort being observed in a very few cases. CONCLUSION The arthrographic technique used in this study is simple, safe, rapid, and reproducible, and has the advantage of precise localization of the site for puncture without need for fluoroscopic guidance. The procedure described in this study can be of help in teaching residents and can reduce the learning curve for radiologists with no experience in arthrographic methods. It also reduces the time of exposure to fluoroscopy.