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Acta Orthop Scand. 1991 Oct;62(5):465-7.

Sonography for diagnosis of rotator cuff tear. Comparison with observations at surgery in 58 shoulders.

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Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Central Hospital, Västerås, Sweden.


To investigate the correlation between ultrasonographic and anatomic changes of the rotator cuff of the shoulder, we studied the findings in 58 surgical cases. Fifteen cases had a full thickness tear, 10 of which had a positive and 5 a negative ultrasonogram. Nine cases had partial tears of the cuff on the bursal side. Ultrasonographically, 3 of these were normal. Among the 34 cases that proved to be normal at surgery, 9 had positive ultrasonograms. The predictive value of a negative examination was 0.8, whereas the predictive value of a positive examination was 0.6. A cautious attitude towards ultrasonography for evaluation of the rotator cuff seems appropriate.

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