Can ultrasound suffice for triaging patients requiring surgical correction of rotator cuff tears—a comparative evaluation of ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging
The Egyptian Journal of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine
Background Objectives: To comparatively evaluate the role of ultrasound and MRI in rotator cuff and biceps tendon pathologies and to establish ultrasound as a consistently reproducible, quick and accurate primary investigation modality sufficient to triage patients requiring surgical correction of full thickness rotator cuff tears. Methods: Fifty patients, clinically suspected to have rotator cuff and/or biceps tendon pathologies, with no contraindications to MRI, were evaluated by US and MRI,
... n a prospective cross-sectional observational study. US was done with high-frequency linear probe, and MRI was done on a 1.5-T scanner using T1 oblique sagittal, proton density (PD)/T2 fat-suppressed (FS) oblique sagittal, T1 axial, PD/T2 FS axial, T1 oblique coronal, T2 oblique coronal and PD FS oblique coronal sequences. Statistical testing was conducted with the statistical package for the social science system version SPSS 17.0. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV and accuracy were also calculated to analyze the diagnostic accuracy of US findings correlating with MRI findings. A p value less than 0.05 was taken to indicate a significant difference. Results Mean age was 45 years; 74% patients were males; 77% females and 60% males had tears. Majority of patients with rotator cuff tears were in the sixth decade of life. The frequency of tears was higher among older patients. Fourteen percent of patients had full thickness tears while 64% had partial thickness tears. US was comparable to MRI for detection of full thickness tears with overall sensitivity, specificity, PPV and accuracy of 93.8%, 100%, 100% and 98.2%, respectively (p value < 0.001). For partial thickness tears, US had overall sensitivity, specificity, PPV and accuracy of 75.6%, 82.6%, 89.5% and 78%, respectively (p value < 0.001), as compared to MRI. Subacromial-subdeltoid bursal effusion and long head of biceps tendon sheath effusion were common associated, though, non-specific findings. Conclusion Ultrasound findings in our study were found to be in significant correlation with findings on MRI in detection of rotator cuff tears. US was equivalent to MRI in detection of full thickness tears and fairly accurate for partial thickness tears. Therefore, US should be considered as the first line of investigation for rotator cuff pathologies.