Musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging is increasingly being used for static and dynamic imaging of tendons, muscles, ligaments, and bones. New, hand-held, pocket-sized ultrasounds are more portable and affordable. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of pocket-sized ultrasound to diagnose shoulder pathology.
Prospective cohort study.
Tertiary Care Hospital.
Ten consecutive patients (mean age 54; range 42-68 years) referred for a shoulder ultrasound for evaluation of shoulder pain were recruited. A diagnostic ultrasound was performed first with a pocket-sized ultrasound machine (VScan; General Electric, Northville, MI) and cine images saved for later review. Next, standard diagnostic ultrasound by a radiology technician specialized in musculoskeletal ultrasound was performed using (LOGIQ; General Electric, Northville, MI) ultrasound. The radiology report from the standard diagnostic ultrasound was used as the gold standard for diagnoses. Two independent evaluators, a musculoskeletal-trained radiologist and a sports-medicine–trained physician with over 8 years of experience with musculoskeletal ultrasound, reviewed the images from the pocket-sized ultrasound.
Nine of the studies were diagnosed with a pathologic entity during the standard diagnostic ultrasound and 1 was found to be normal. Diagnoses ranged from biceps tendinopathy, calcific tendonitis, and partial-articular–sided rotator cuff tear. Evaluator 1 correctly identified 7/10 diagnoses and evaluator 2 correctly identified 8/10 diagnoses. The evaluators also rated their confidence in diagnosis as 4.2/5 and the image quality as 3.7/4 from the pocket-sized ultrasound.
The findings from this study demonstrate that pocket-sized, hand-held ultrasound machines may be used to identify shoulder pathology.