Imaging of the Shoulder: A Comparison of MRI and Ultrasound

Levine, Benjamin D. MD1; Motamedi, Kambiz MD2; Seeger, Leanne L. MD3

doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e31826b6baa
Extremity Conditions: Section Articles

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is well established as a powerful imaging modality for the shoulder. In the last decade, ultrasound has emerged as an effective imaging option, alongside MRI, for evaluation of the shoulder. With MRI and ultrasound, clinicians now have two viable advanced imaging options for the diagnostic evaluation of shoulder pain. This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of ultrasound and MRI for the shoulder. Applications where ultrasound is considered the imaging test of choice, those where MRI is more advantageous, and those where both ultrasound and MRI are viable alternatives for shoulder imaging are discussed.

1Department of Radiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, UCLA-Santa Monica Medical Center and Orthopedic Hospital, Santa Monica, CA 90404; 2Department of Radiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-6952; and 3Department of Radiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-6952

Address for correspondence: Benjamin D. Levine, MD, Department of Radiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, UCLA-Santa Monica Medical Center and Orthopedic Hospital, 1250 16th Street, Suite 2340, Santa Monica, CA 90404; E-mail: blevine@mednet.ucla.edu

© 2012 American College of Sports Medicine