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SAGE Publications, Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 7(2), p. 232596711454040, 2014

DOI: 10.1177/2325967114540407



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Analysis of Low-Field MRI Scanners for Evaluation of Shoulder Pathology Based on Arthroscopy

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Data provided by SHERPA/RoMEO


Background: Many studies have compared the diagnostic capabilities of low-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to high-field MRI scanners; however, few have evaluated the low-field MRI diagnoses compared with intraoperative findings. Purpose: To determine the accuracy and sensitivity of low-field MRI scanners in diagnosing lesions of the rotator cuff and glenoid labrum. Study Design: Cohort study (diagnosis); Level of evidence, 3. Methods: Over a 2-year period, MRI examinations without intra-articular contrast were performed on 79 patients for shoulder pathologies using an in-office 0.2-T extremity scanner. The MRI examinations were read by board-certified, musculoskeletal fellowship–trained radiologists. All patients underwent shoulder arthroscopy performed by a single sports fellowship–trained orthopaedic surgeon within a mean time of 56 days (range, 8-188 days) after the MRI examination. The mean patient age was 54 years (range, 18-81 years). Operative notes from the shoulder arthroscopies were then retrospectively reviewed by a single blinded observer, and the intraoperative findings were compared with the MRI reports. Results: For partial-thickness rotator cuff tears, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were 85%, 89%, 79%, and 92%, respectively. For full-thickness rotator cuff tears, the respective values were 97%, 100%, 100%, and 98%. For anterior labral lesions, the values were 86%, 99%, 86%, and 99%, and for superior labral anterior-posterior (SLAP) lesions, the values were 20%, 100%, 100%, and 79%, respectively. Conclusion: Low-field MRI is an accurate tool for evaluation of partial- and full-thickness rotator cuff tears; however, it is not effective in diagnosing SLAP lesions. More information is needed to properly assess its ability to diagnose anterior and posterior labral lesions.