Published online Jun 28, 2014. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v6.i6.274
Revised: April 7, 2014
Accepted: May 14, 2014
Published online: June 28, 2014
Evaluation of rotator cuff is a common indication for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning of the shoulder. Conventional MRI is the most commonly used technique, while magnetic resonance (MR) arthrography is reserved for certain cases. Rotator cuff disorders are thought to be caused by a combination of internal and external mechanisms. A well-structured MRI report should comment on the relevant anatomic structures including the acromial type and orientation, the presence of os acromiale, acromio-clavicular degenerative spurs and fluid in the subacromial subdeltoid bursa. In addition, specific injuries of the rotator cuff tendons and the condition of the long head of biceps should be accurately reported. The size and extent of tendon tears, tendon retraction and fatty degeneration or atrophy of the muscles are all essential components of a surgically relevant MRI report.
Core tip: This review discusses the relevant anatomy of rotator cuff, mechanisms of rotator cuff injury, techniques of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) used as well as all relevant MRI findings in an easy and ordered manner with illustrative figures and examples.