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Rotator Cuff Full-Thickness Tear
Soterios Gyftopoulos, MD, MSc; Kirkland W. Davis, MD, FACR; Michael J. Tuite, MD
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KEY FACTS

  • Terminology

    • Imaging

      • Top Differential Diagnoses

        • Clinical Issues

          • Diagnostic Checklist

            TERMINOLOGY

            • Abbreviations

              • Rotator cuff tear (RCT)
              • Full-thickness RCT (FTRCT)
            • Definitions

              • Tear extending from articular to bursal surface of rotator cuff tendon
              • If tear involves entire tendon insertion, then considered full-width or complete tear
                • If it involves portion of tendon, then considered partial-width or incomplete tear

            IMAGING

            • General Features

              • Radiographic Findings

                • CT Findings

                  • MR Findings

                    • Ultrasonographic Findings

                      • Imaging Recommendations

                        DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                          PATHOLOGY

                          • General Features

                            • Staging, Grading, & Classification

                              • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                                CLINICAL ISSUES

                                • Presentation

                                  • Demographics

                                    • Natural History & Prognosis

                                      • Treatment

                                        DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                        • Consider

                                          • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                            • Reporting Tips

                                              Selected References

                                              1. Guo S et al: Assessment of tendon retraction in large to massive rotator cuff tears: a modified patte's classification based on two coronal sections on preoperative MRI with higher specificity on predicting reparability. Arthroscopy. 36(11):2822-30, 2020
                                              2. Choo HJ et al: Delaminated tears of the rotator cuff: prevalence, characteristics, and diagnostic accuracy using indirect MR arthrography. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 204(2):360-6, 2015
                                              3. Roy JS et al: Diagnostic accuracy of ultrasonography, MRI and MR arthrography in the characterisation of rotator cuff disorders: a meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 49(20):1316-28, 2015
                                              4. Rutten MJ et al: Detection of rotator cuff tears: the value of MRI following ultrasound. Eur Radiol. 20(2):450-7, 2010
                                              5. de Jesus JO et al: Accuracy of MRI, MR arthrography, and ultrasound in the diagnosis of rotator cuff tears: a meta-analysis. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 192(6):1701-7, 2009
                                              6. Jung JY et al: Comparison study of indirect MR arthrography and direct MR arthrography of the shoulder. Skeletal Radiol. 38(7):659-67, 2009
                                              7. Kang CH et al: Supraspinatus tendon tears: comparison of 3D US and MR arthrography with surgical correlation. Skeletal Radiol. 38(11):1063-9, 2009
                                              8. Vandevenne JE et al: Fast MR arthrography using VIBE sequences to evaluate the rotator cuff. Skeletal Radiol. 38(7):669-74, 2009
                                              9. Van Dyck P et al: Tears of the supraspinatus tendon: assessment with indirect magnetic resonance arthrography in 67 patients with arthroscopic correlation. Acta Radiol. 50(9):1057-63, 2009
                                              10. Herold T et al: Indirect MR arthrography of the shoulder: use of abduction and external rotation to detect full- and partial-thickness tears of the supraspinatus tendon. Radiology. 240(1):152-60, 2006
                                              11. Magee T et al: 3.0-T MRI of the supraspinatus tendon. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 187(4):881-6, 2006
                                              12. Chang CY et al: Comparison of shoulder ultrasound and MR imaging in diagnosing full-thickness rotator cuff tears. Clin Imaging. 26(1):50-4, 2002
                                              13. Palmer WE et al: Rotator cuff: evaluation with fat-suppressed MR arthrography. Radiology. 188(3):683-7, 1993
                                              Related Anatomy
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                                              Related Differential Diagnoses
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                                              References
                                              Tables

                                              Tables

                                              KEY FACTS

                                              • Terminology

                                                • Imaging

                                                  • Top Differential Diagnoses

                                                    • Clinical Issues

                                                      • Diagnostic Checklist

                                                        TERMINOLOGY

                                                        • Abbreviations

                                                          • Rotator cuff tear (RCT)
                                                          • Full-thickness RCT (FTRCT)
                                                        • Definitions

                                                          • Tear extending from articular to bursal surface of rotator cuff tendon
                                                          • If tear involves entire tendon insertion, then considered full-width or complete tear
                                                            • If it involves portion of tendon, then considered partial-width or incomplete tear

                                                        IMAGING

                                                        • General Features

                                                          • Radiographic Findings

                                                            • CT Findings

                                                              • MR Findings

                                                                • Ultrasonographic Findings

                                                                  • Imaging Recommendations

                                                                    DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                                                                      PATHOLOGY

                                                                      • General Features

                                                                        • Staging, Grading, & Classification

                                                                          • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                                                                            CLINICAL ISSUES

                                                                            • Presentation

                                                                              • Demographics

                                                                                • Natural History & Prognosis

                                                                                  • Treatment

                                                                                    DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                                                                    • Consider

                                                                                      • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                                                                        • Reporting Tips

                                                                                          Selected References

                                                                                          1. Guo S et al: Assessment of tendon retraction in large to massive rotator cuff tears: a modified patte's classification based on two coronal sections on preoperative MRI with higher specificity on predicting reparability. Arthroscopy. 36(11):2822-30, 2020
                                                                                          2. Choo HJ et al: Delaminated tears of the rotator cuff: prevalence, characteristics, and diagnostic accuracy using indirect MR arthrography. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 204(2):360-6, 2015
                                                                                          3. Roy JS et al: Diagnostic accuracy of ultrasonography, MRI and MR arthrography in the characterisation of rotator cuff disorders: a meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 49(20):1316-28, 2015
                                                                                          4. Rutten MJ et al: Detection of rotator cuff tears: the value of MRI following ultrasound. Eur Radiol. 20(2):450-7, 2010
                                                                                          5. de Jesus JO et al: Accuracy of MRI, MR arthrography, and ultrasound in the diagnosis of rotator cuff tears: a meta-analysis. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 192(6):1701-7, 2009
                                                                                          6. Jung JY et al: Comparison study of indirect MR arthrography and direct MR arthrography of the shoulder. Skeletal Radiol. 38(7):659-67, 2009
                                                                                          7. Kang CH et al: Supraspinatus tendon tears: comparison of 3D US and MR arthrography with surgical correlation. Skeletal Radiol. 38(11):1063-9, 2009
                                                                                          8. Vandevenne JE et al: Fast MR arthrography using VIBE sequences to evaluate the rotator cuff. Skeletal Radiol. 38(7):669-74, 2009
                                                                                          9. Van Dyck P et al: Tears of the supraspinatus tendon: assessment with indirect magnetic resonance arthrography in 67 patients with arthroscopic correlation. Acta Radiol. 50(9):1057-63, 2009
                                                                                          10. Herold T et al: Indirect MR arthrography of the shoulder: use of abduction and external rotation to detect full- and partial-thickness tears of the supraspinatus tendon. Radiology. 240(1):152-60, 2006
                                                                                          11. Magee T et al: 3.0-T MRI of the supraspinatus tendon. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 187(4):881-6, 2006
                                                                                          12. Chang CY et al: Comparison of shoulder ultrasound and MR imaging in diagnosing full-thickness rotator cuff tears. Clin Imaging. 26(1):50-4, 2002
                                                                                          13. Palmer WE et al: Rotator cuff: evaluation with fat-suppressed MR arthrography. Radiology. 188(3):683-7, 1993