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Rotator Cuff Partial-Thickness Tear
Michael J. Tuite, MD
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KEY FACTS

  • Terminology

    • Imaging

      • Diagnostic Checklist

        TERMINOLOGY

        • Abbreviations

          • Partial (thickness) rotator cuff tear (PRCT/PTRCT)
        • Synonyms

          • Partial tear, articular/undersurface tear, bursal/superior surface tear, intratendinous/intrasubstance/interstitial tear
        • Definitions

          • Tear involving only portion of rotator cuff tendon thickness so that tear depth is less than full thickness of tendon
          • With full-thickness tear, joint fluid communicates with subacromial (SA) bursa

        IMAGING

        • General Features

          • Radiographic Findings

            • CT Findings

              • MR Findings

                • Ultrasonographic Findings

                  • Imaging Recommendations

                    DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                      PATHOLOGY

                      • General Features

                        • Staging, Grading, & Classification

                          CLINICAL ISSUES

                          • Presentation

                            • Demographics

                              • Natural History & Prognosis

                                • Treatment

                                  DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                  • Consider

                                    • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                      • Reporting Tips

                                        Selected References

                                        1. 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
                                        2. Corazza A et al: Dynamic high-resolution ultrasound of the shoulder: how we do it. Eur J Radiol. 84(2):266-77, 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. 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
                                        5. Manvar AM et al: Clinical significance of intramuscular cysts in the rotator cuff and their relationship to full- and partial-thickness rotator cuff tears. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 192(3):719-24, 2009
                                        6. Vlychou M et al: Symptomatic partial rotator cuff tears: diagnostic performance of ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging with surgical correlation. Acta Radiol. 50(1):101-5, 2009
                                        7. Lecouvet FE et al: Multidetector spiral CT arthrography of the shoulder. Clinical applications and limits, with MR arthrography and arthroscopic correlations. Eur J Radiol. 68(1):120-36, 2008
                                        8. Vinson EN et al: Rim-rent tear of the rotator cuff: a common and easily overlooked partial tear. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 189(4):943-6, 2007
                                        9. Waldt S et al: Rotator cuff tears: assessment with MR arthrography in 275 patients with arthroscopic correlation. Eur Radiol. 17(2):491-8, 2007
                                        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. Kijowski R et al: Comparison of fat-suppressed T2-weighted fast spin-echo sequence and modified STIR sequence in the evaluation of the rotator cuff tendon. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 185(2):371-8, 2005
                                        12. Stetson WB et al: The use of magnetic resonance arthrography to detect partial-thickness rotator cuff tears. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 87 Suppl 2:81-8, 2005
                                        13. Meister K et al: MR arthrography of partial thickness tears of the undersurface of the rotator cuff: an arthroscopic correlation. Skeletal Radiol. 33(3):136-41, 2004
                                        14. Teefey SA et al: Detection and quantification of rotator cuff tears. Comparison of ultrasonographic, magnetic resonance imaging, and arthroscopic findings in seventy-one consecutive cases. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 86-A(4):708-16, 2004
                                        15. Lee SY et al: Horizontal component of partial-thickness tears of rotator cuff: imaging characteristics and comparison of ABER view with oblique coronal view at MR arthrography initial results. Radiology. 224(2):470-6, 2002
                                        16. Balich SM et al: MR imaging of the rotator cuff tendon: interobserver agreement and analysis of interpretive errors. Radiology. 204(1):191-4, 1997
                                        17. Needell SD et al: Comparison of fat-saturation fast spin echo versus conventional spin-echo MRI in the detection of rotator cuff pathology. J Magn Reson Imaging. 7(4):674-7, 1997
                                        18. Singson RD et al: MR evaluation of rotator cuff pathology using T2-weighted fast spin-echo technique with and without fat suppression. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 166(5):1061-5, 1996
                                        Related Anatomy
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                                        Related Differential Diagnoses
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                                        References
                                        Tables

                                        Tables

                                        KEY FACTS

                                        • Terminology

                                          • Imaging

                                            • Diagnostic Checklist

                                              TERMINOLOGY

                                              • Abbreviations

                                                • Partial (thickness) rotator cuff tear (PRCT/PTRCT)
                                              • Synonyms

                                                • Partial tear, articular/undersurface tear, bursal/superior surface tear, intratendinous/intrasubstance/interstitial tear
                                              • Definitions

                                                • Tear involving only portion of rotator cuff tendon thickness so that tear depth is less than full thickness of tendon
                                                • With full-thickness tear, joint fluid communicates with subacromial (SA) bursa

                                              IMAGING

                                              • General Features

                                                • Radiographic Findings

                                                  • CT Findings

                                                    • MR Findings

                                                      • Ultrasonographic Findings

                                                        • Imaging Recommendations

                                                          DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                                                            PATHOLOGY

                                                            • General Features

                                                              • Staging, Grading, & Classification

                                                                CLINICAL ISSUES

                                                                • Presentation

                                                                  • Demographics

                                                                    • Natural History & Prognosis

                                                                      • Treatment

                                                                        DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                                                        • Consider

                                                                          • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                                                            • Reporting Tips

                                                                              Selected References

                                                                              1. 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
                                                                              2. Corazza A et al: Dynamic high-resolution ultrasound of the shoulder: how we do it. Eur J Radiol. 84(2):266-77, 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. 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
                                                                              5. Manvar AM et al: Clinical significance of intramuscular cysts in the rotator cuff and their relationship to full- and partial-thickness rotator cuff tears. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 192(3):719-24, 2009
                                                                              6. Vlychou M et al: Symptomatic partial rotator cuff tears: diagnostic performance of ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging with surgical correlation. Acta Radiol. 50(1):101-5, 2009
                                                                              7. Lecouvet FE et al: Multidetector spiral CT arthrography of the shoulder. Clinical applications and limits, with MR arthrography and arthroscopic correlations. Eur J Radiol. 68(1):120-36, 2008
                                                                              8. Vinson EN et al: Rim-rent tear of the rotator cuff: a common and easily overlooked partial tear. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 189(4):943-6, 2007
                                                                              9. Waldt S et al: Rotator cuff tears: assessment with MR arthrography in 275 patients with arthroscopic correlation. Eur Radiol. 17(2):491-8, 2007
                                                                              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. Kijowski R et al: Comparison of fat-suppressed T2-weighted fast spin-echo sequence and modified STIR sequence in the evaluation of the rotator cuff tendon. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 185(2):371-8, 2005
                                                                              12. Stetson WB et al: The use of magnetic resonance arthrography to detect partial-thickness rotator cuff tears. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 87 Suppl 2:81-8, 2005
                                                                              13. Meister K et al: MR arthrography of partial thickness tears of the undersurface of the rotator cuff: an arthroscopic correlation. Skeletal Radiol. 33(3):136-41, 2004
                                                                              14. Teefey SA et al: Detection and quantification of rotator cuff tears. Comparison of ultrasonographic, magnetic resonance imaging, and arthroscopic findings in seventy-one consecutive cases. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 86-A(4):708-16, 2004
                                                                              15. Lee SY et al: Horizontal component of partial-thickness tears of rotator cuff: imaging characteristics and comparison of ABER view with oblique coronal view at MR arthrography initial results. Radiology. 224(2):470-6, 2002
                                                                              16. Balich SM et al: MR imaging of the rotator cuff tendon: interobserver agreement and analysis of interpretive errors. Radiology. 204(1):191-4, 1997
                                                                              17. Needell SD et al: Comparison of fat-saturation fast spin echo versus conventional spin-echo MRI in the detection of rotator cuff pathology. J Magn Reson Imaging. 7(4):674-7, 1997
                                                                              18. Singson RD et al: MR evaluation of rotator cuff pathology using T2-weighted fast spin-echo technique with and without fat suppression. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 166(5):1061-5, 1996