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Ultrasonographic evaluation of the rotator cuff and biceps tendon.

Middleton, W D; Reinus, W R; Totty, W G; Melson, C L; Murphy, W A


Ultrasonography of the rotator cuff and biceps tendon was investigated in 106 patients who had been referred for arthrography of the shoulder. Both the sensitivity and the specificity of ultrasound in detecting a tear of the rotator cuff were 91 per cent. The predictive value of a negative sonogram was 95 per cent and the predictive value of a positive sonogram was 84 per cent. Ultrasonography proved to be superior to arthrography in the examination of the normal and abnormal biceps tendon. Sonographically detectable effusions from the tendon sheath of the biceps were present in 19 per cent of this population of patients. This finding was statistically highly associated (90 per cent) with rotator cuff tears and other soft-tissue abnormalities of the shoulder. Based on these results, it appears that ultrasonography can be used as the initial imaging test for many patients with suspected abnormalities of the rotator cuff or biceps tendon.

Copyright © 1986 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
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