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Indian J Radiol Imaging. 2019 Jan-Mar;29(1):19-24. doi: 10.4103/ijri.IJRI_116_18.

Adhesive capsulitis: MRI correlation with clinical stages and proposal of MRI staging.

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Department of Radio Diagnosis, Govt Stanley Medical College, Affiliated to The Tamilnadu Dr. MGR Medical University, No 69, Anna Salai, Guindy, Chennai, India.



The purpose of this study was to correlate the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings of adhesive capsulitis with clinical stages and thereby propose a MR staging system.

Materials and Methods:

This study consisted of 74 patients with clinically diagnosed adhesive capsulitis. The edema of the inferior glenohumeral ligament (IGHL), pericapsular edema, thickness of anterior band of IGHL, axillary pouch, thickness of coracohumeral ligament, and obliteration of fat in the subcoracoid triangle were evaluated by MRI.


Thickening of the anterior band of IGHL showed most significant correlation with the clinical stages. The distribution of edema of IGHL and pericapsular edema also showed significant correlation with the clinical stages of adhesive capsulitis. Pericapsular edema and IGHL edema was not observed in stage IV.


MR is a useful tool for evaluation and prediction of clinical stage of adhesive capsulitis.


Adhesive capsulitis; MRI staging; magnetic resonance imaging; shoulder

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