Characterization of Rotator Cuff Tears: Ultrasound Versus Ma
Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are both capable of diagnosing full-thickness rotator cuff tears. However, it is unknown which imaging modality is more accurate and precise in evaluating the characteristics of full-thickness rotator cuff tears in a surgical population. This study reviewed 114 patients who underwent arthroscopic repair of a full-thickness rotator cuff tear over a 1-year period. Of these patients, 61 had both preoperative MRI and ultrasound for review. Three musculoskeletal radiologists evaluated each ultrasound and MRI in a randomized and blinded fashion on 2 separate occasions.

Tear size, retraction status, muscle atrophy, and fatty infiltration were analyzed and compared between the 2 modalities. Ultrasound measurements were statistically smaller in both tear size (P=.001) and retraction status (P=.001) compared with MRI. The 2 image modalities showed comparable intraobserver reliability in assessment of tear size and retraction status. However, MRI showed greater interobserver reliability in assessment of tear size, retraction status, and atrophy.