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Semin Musculoskelet Radiol. 2012 Sep;16(4):296-315. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1327004. Epub 2012 Oct 9.

The biceps muscle from shoulder to elbow.

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Department of Radiology, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


The biceps brachii plays an integral role in movement of the shoulder and elbow, and pathology can occur in athletes of all ages. Injuries of the proximal biceps tendon can be seen in overhead athletes as a result of chronic impingement, tendon instability, or tensile overload, often with accompanying lesions of the labrum or rotator cuff. Presentation may be insidious or can be precipitated by an acute event. Injuries to the distal biceps are more common in athletes involved in strength training such as weightlifters, or occasionally in contact sports. Although injury to the proximal and distal biceps can often be diagnosed clinically, MRI is an excellent imaging modality to evaluate the extent of disease and involvement of adjacent structures. This article reviews the anatomy of the biceps brachii from the shoulder to elbow and discusses commonly occurring pathology of the biceps and adjacent anatomical structures.

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