PURPOSE: To evaluate the conventional magnetic resonance image findings in patients with adhesive shoulder capsulitis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The preoperative MR images of 76 patients with adhesive shoulder capsulitis that was also treated by arthroscopic capsule release. In contrast to the MR images of 25 control patients without adhesive shoulder capsulitis, the thickness and area of hyposignal intensity around the coracohumeral ligament (CHL), subcoracoidal fat, capsular thickness of the rotator interval, capsular thickness, and height of the axillary recess were measured. The existence of fluid in the axillary recess was also verified. RESULTS: Patients with adhesive capsulitis showed a significant increase in the thickness (average 10.57 mm vs. 5.88 mm, T=8.289, p< 0.001), area (average 3.49 point vs. 0.96 point Z=7.775, p< 0.001) of hyposignal intensity around CHL, and a thickened joint capsule in the rotator interval (average 5.93 mm vs. 2.15 mm, Z=6.472, p< 0.001). The thickness of the hyposignal intensity around the CHL is about 10 mm or more and has a specificity of 96%, a sensitivity of about 55% in the area of hyposignal intensity from around the CHL, Seventy-five percent or more of cases, showed a 100%, 95%, complete obliteration of the subcoracoidal fat that was 96%, and a 50% thickness of the capsule. A rotator interval of 6mm or more had a 96%, 50% for the diagnosis of adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder. The capsular thickness and maximal height of axillary recess and the presence of fluid in the axillary recess was not significant in patients with adhesive shoulder capsulitis. CONCLUSION: Thickening of the hyposignal intensity around the CHL, subcoracoidal fat obliteration, and capsular thickening at the rotator interval, are characteristic MRI findings in adhesive shoulder capsulitis.