US depiction of partial-thickness tear of the rotator cuff

M T van Holsbeeck, P A Kolowich, W R Eyler, J G Craig, K K Shirazi, G K Habra, G M Vanderschueren, J A Bouffard
Radiology 1995, 197 (2): 443-6

PURPOSE: To test previously defined ultrasound (US) criteria for identification of partial-thickness tears of the rotator cuff.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Before shoulder arthroscopy, 52 patients with shoulder pain for more than 3 months were examined with a 7.5-MHz commercially available linear-array transducer and a standardized study protocol. The criteria used to detect partial-thickness tears were (a) a mixed hyper- and hypoechoic focus in the crucial zone of the supraspinatus tendon and (b) a hypoechoic lesion visualized in two orthogonal imaging planes with either articular or bursal extension.

RESULTS: The US findings were reported as partial-thickness tears in 17 shoulders, of which three were false-positive findings. There was one false-negative finding. The sensitivity of US in depiction of partial-thickness tears was 93%, and specificity was 94%. The positive predictive value was 82%, and the negative predictive value was 98%.

CONCLUSION: US can depict most partial-thickness tears with use of the criteria described.

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