Higher strength MRI can help patients avoid arthroscopy for shoulder injuries

May 01, 2006

MRI, at a strength of 3.0 Tesla is comparable to arthroscopy in detecting cartilage tears in the shoulder, according to a new study by researchers from the Neuroskeletal Imaging Institute in Merritt Island, FL.

For the study, the researchers reviewed the shoulder MRIs of 100 consecutive patients, 67 of whom also underwent arthroscopy to detect shoulder cartilage tears. Of those 67 patients, 46 were diagnosed with some type of torn cartilage. The researchers found that 3.0-Tesla MRI was able to detect the tears in 42 of those 46 patients.

"The results of our study show that MRI has a high correlation with what is found at surgery," said Thomas Magee, MD, lead author of the study.

According to the researchers, shoulder cartilage tears are a common injury. "Athletes get them a lot, of course, but generally anybody who dislocates their shoulder will also tear cartilage," said Dr. Magee.

The benefit of using MRI to diagnose shoulder cartilage tears is significant, say the researchers. "Some doctors advocate using arthroscopy on every patient, but with MRI, we can diagnose tears without the need for arthroscopy, so many patients won't have to undergo surgery," said Dr. Magee.

The full results of the study will be presented on Monday, May 1, 2006 during the American Roentgen Ray Society Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC.
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About ARRS
The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) was founded in 1900 and is the oldest radiology society in the U.S Radiologists from all over the world attend the ARRS Annual Meeting to take part in instructional courses, scientific paper presentations, symposiums, new issues forums and scientific and commercial exhibits related to the field of radiology. The ARRS is named after Wilhelm Röentgen, who discovered the x-ray in 1895.

American College of Radiology

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