Magnetic resonance imaging of rotator cuff tearing and degenerative tendon changes: Correlation with histologic pathology.

Research paper by K K Nakagaki, J J Ozaki, Y Y Tomita, S S Tamai

Indexed on: 01 May '93Published on: 01 May '93Published in: Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery


We studied degeneration of the torn rotator cuff by comparing the signal intensity of the torn tendon edge on magnetic resonance imaging with cellularity of the tendon. Fifty-one shoulders with rotator cuff tears requiring surgical repairs were scanned before surgery in a 0.5T magnetic resonance imaging system. T1-, T2-, T2*-, and proton-density-weighted sequences were obtained. Three specimens from the torn tendon edge that were obtained at operation were examined microscopically, and the number of tendon cells was calculated and averaged. Degeneration of the torn rotator cuff edge was associated with an increase in signal intensity of the torn tendon edge on T1 -, T2-, T2*, and proton-density-weighted images and a decrease in tendon cellularity. The T2-, T2*-, and proton-density-weighted images were more useful, because on the T1 -weighted image it was difficult to identify the torn cuff edge.