International Orthopaedics

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 227–232 | Cite as

Full-thickness supraspinatus tendon tears: correlation of findings by arthroscopy and magnetic resonance imaging

  • Eduardo Angeli Malavolta
  • Jorge Henrique AssunçãoEmail author
  • Alex Oliveira de Araujo
  • Carlos Augusto Seito
  • Mauro Emilio Conforto Gracitelli
  • Marcelo Bordalo-Rodrigues
  • Arnaldo Amado Ferreira Neto
Original Paper



The main aim of this study was to correlate measurements of the width and retraction of isolated full-thickness supraspinatus tendon tears determined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with measurements recorded by arthroscopy using a continuous millimetre scale.


A total of 53 individuals with isolated supraspinatus tears and retraction < 30 mm underwent arthroscopy at our centre. Tear width and retraction measured by arthroscopy (reference standard) and MRI (index test) on a continuous millimetre scale were compared. All measurements were performed by a single radiologist blinded to intra-operative findings and one surgeon who had previous access to MRI results.


The average tear retraction was 12.60 ± 4.89 mm by arthroscopy and 16.81 ± 6.29 mm by MRI. Those measures exhibited moderate correlation (r = 0.643, p < 0.001) and an average difference of 4.21 mm (p < 0.001). Average tear width was 12.87 ± 4.15 mm by arthroscopy and 14.19 ± 5.20 by MRI. Those measures exhibited moderate correlation (r = 0.526, p < 0.001) and an average difference of 1.32 mm, which was not statistically significant (p = 0.109).


Measures of retraction and width obtained by MRI and arthroscopy exhibited moderate correlation in small- or medium-sized supraspinatus tears.


Rotator cuff tear MR imaging Arthroscopy Rotator cuff surgery Accuracy Lesion pattern 


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eduardo Angeli Malavolta
    • 1
  • Jorge Henrique Assunção
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Alex Oliveira de Araujo
    • 1
  • Carlos Augusto Seito
    • 1
  • Mauro Emilio Conforto Gracitelli
    • 1
  • Marcelo Bordalo-Rodrigues
    • 1
  • Arnaldo Amado Ferreira Neto
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, School of MedicineUniversity of São Paulo (USP)São PauloBrazil
  2. 2.São PauloBrazil

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