Sonographic Evaluation of the Rotator Cuff: Accuracy in Patients Without Prior Surgery

  title={Sonographic Evaluation of the Rotator Cuff: Accuracy in Patients Without Prior Surgery},
  author={Laurence A. Mack and M Gannon and Ray F. Kilcoyne and Frederick A. Matsen},
  journal={Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research},
Since 1982 a sonographic technique has been devised to evaluate the integrity of the rotator cuff. In a series of 139 shoulders in 134 consecutive patients without prior surgery, sonographic results were correlated with surgical findings and/or arthrography. When sonography was compared with surgical findings (n = 90 shoulders), the overall accuracy was 95%. The sonographic diagnosis was the same as the arthrographic diagnosis in 91% of the cases (n = 50). Cuff lesions were also created in two… 
Sonography for diagnosis of rotator cuff tear. Comparison with observations at surgery in 58 shoulders.
Among the 34 cases that proved to be normal at surgery, 9 had positive ultrasonograms, and a cautious attitude towards ultrasonography for evaluation of the rotator cuff seems appropriate.
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In this specific population of patients, arthrography was found to be superior to ultrasonography in the evaluation of patients who had a degenerative lesion of the rotator cuff.
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MR arthrography is the most sensitive and specific technique for diagnosing both full- and partial-thickness rotator cuff tears.
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US is a highly accurate diagnostic method for detecting full-thickness rotator cuff tears, but is less sensitive in detecting partial-thickenness rotators cuff tears.
Comparative Study of Ultrasound and MRI In Assessing Rotator Cuff Tear
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Ulasonography is an appropriate radiological technique for the assessment of rotator cuff tears with an acceptable sensitivity and specificity and the diagnostic test accuracy of ultrasound is superior for the detection of full-thickness compared to partial-thickenness cuff tears.
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US detection of rotator cuff and biceps tendon integrity is comparable to MRI and should be preferred in revision cases.
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It is found that shoulder ultrasound, in the hands of an experienced radiologist with the use of modern high-resolution equipment, is highly sensitive in differentiating complete tears and partial-thickness tears.


Sonographic evaluation of the rotator cuff.
The use of ultrasound in this setting can help to prevent a great deal of the pain associated with shoulder injury by establishing the nature and stage of injury before rotator cuff tear occurs.