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Clin Should Elbow. 2018 Dec;21(4):186-191. English. Original Article.
Kim JH , Min YK .
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Inje University Busan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.


To determine the normal range of humeral head positioning on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


We selected normal subjects (64 patients; group A) to study the normal range of humeral head positioning on the glenoid by MRI measurements. To compare the MRI measurement method with the computed tomography (CT), we selected group B (70 patients) who underwent both MRI and CT. We measured the humeral-scapular alignment (HSA) and the humeral-glenoid alignment (HGA).


The HSA in the control group was 1.47 ± 1.05 mm, and the HGA with and without reconstruction were 1.15 ± 0.65 mm and 1.03 ± 0.59 mm, respectively, on MRI. In the test group, HSA was 2.67 ± 1.47 mm and HGA with and without reconstruction was 1.58 ± 1.16 mm and 1.49 ± 1.08 mm, on MRI. On CT, the HSA was 1.72 ± 1.01 mm, and HGA with and without reconstruction were 1.54 ± 0.96 mm and 1.59 ± 0.93 mm, respectively. HSA was significantly different according to image modality (p=0.0006), but HGA was not significantly different regardless of reconstruction (p=0.8836 and 0.9234).


Although additional CT scans can be taken to measure decentering in patients with rotator cuff tears, reliable measurements can be obtained with MRI alone. When using MRI, it is better to use HGA, which is a more reliable measurement value based on the comparison with CT measurement (study design: Study of Diagnostic Test; Level of evidence II).

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