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Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2017 Dec;137(12):1719-1724. doi: 10.1007/s00402-017-2799-3. Epub 2017 Sep 23.

Limited diagnostic accuracy of magnetic resonance imaging and clinical tests for detecting partial-thickness tears of the rotator cuff.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedics and Orthopaedic Surgery, Saarland University Medical Center, Kirrberger Straße, Geb. 37/38, 66421, Homburg/Saar, Germany. matthias.brockmeyer@uks.eu.
2
Department of Orthopaedics and Orthopaedic Surgery, Saarland University Medical Center, Kirrberger Straße, Geb. 37/38, 66421, Homburg/Saar, Germany.
3
Sporthopaedicum Berlin, Bismarckstraße 45-47, 10627, Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

The reliable diagnosis of partial-thickness tears of the rotator cuff is still elusive in clinical practise. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of MR imaging and clinical tests for detecting partial-thickness tears of the rotator cuff as well as the combination of these parameters.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

334 consecutive shoulder arthroscopies for rotator cuff pathologies performed during the time period between 2010 and 2012 were analyzed retrospectively for the findings of common clinical signs for rotator cuff lesions and preoperative MR imaging. These were compared with the intraoperative arthroscopic findings as "gold standard". The reports of the MR imaging were evaluated with regard to the integrity of the rotator cuff. The Ellman Classification was used to define partial-thickness tears of the rotator cuff in accordance with the arthroscopic findings. Descriptive statistics, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value were calculated.

RESULTS:

MR imaging showed 80 partial-thickness and 70 full-thickness tears of the rotator cuff. The arthroscopic examination confirmed 64 partial-thickness tears of which 52 needed debridement or refixation of the rotator cuff. Sensitivity for MR imaging to identify partial-thickness tears was 51.6%, specificity 77.2%, positive predictive value 41.3% and negative predictive value 83.7%. For the Jobe-test, sensitivity was 64.1%, specificity 43.2%, positive predictive value 25.9% and negative predictive value 79.5%. Sensitivity for the Impingement-sign was 76.7%, specificity 46.6%, positive predictive value 30.8% and negative predictive value 86.5%. For the combination of MR imaging, Jobe-test and Impingement-sign sensitivity was 46.9%, specificity 85.4%, positive predictive value 50% and negative predictive value 83.8%.

CONCLUSIONS:

The diagnostic accuracy of MR imaging and clinical tests (Jobe-test and Impingement-sign) alone is limited for detecting partial-thickness tears of the rotator cuff. Additionally, the combination of MR imaging and clinical tests does not improve diagnostic accuracy.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Level II, Diagnostic study.

KEYWORDS:

Clinical test; Jobe-test; MR imaging; Partial-thickness tear; Rotator cuff; Supraspinatus tendon

PMID:
28942510
DOI:
10.1007/s00402-017-2799-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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