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Eur J Radiol. 2008 Oct;68(1):72-87. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2008.02.026. Epub 2008 May 21.

SLAP lesions: anatomy, clinical presentation, MR imaging diagnosis and characterization.

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University of California San Diego, Department of Radiology, San Diego, CA 92103, USA.


Superior labral anterior posterior (SLAP) tears are an abnormality of the superior labrum usually centered on the attachment of the long head of the biceps tendon. Tears are commonly caused by repetitive overhead motion or fall on an outstretched arm. SLAP lesions can lead to shoulder pain and instability. Clinical diagnosis is difficult thus imaging plays a key diagnostic role. The normal anatomic variability of the capsulolabral complex can make SLAP lesions a diagnostic challenge. Concurrent shoulder injuries are often present including rotator cuff tears, cystic changes or marrow edema in the humeral head, capsular laxity, Hill-Sachs or Bankart lesion. The relevant anatomy, capsulolabral anatomic variants, primary and secondary findings of SLAP tears including MR arthrography findings, types of SLAP lesions and a practical approach to labral lesions are reviewed.

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