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The aim of this prospective, randomized study was to compare the performance of a rotator interval approach with the posterior glenohumeral approach for ultrasound-guided contrast injection prior to MR shoulder arthrography. This study was approved by the institutional review board. One hundred and twenty consecutive patients referred for MR shoulder arthrography were randomized into four groups: rotator interval approach in-plane (n = 30); rotator interval approach out-of-plane (n = 30); posterior approach in-plane (n = 30); and posterior approach out-of plane (n = 30). Outcome measures included procedure time, number of injection attempts, patient-reported pain score (0-10), and radiologist-reported technical difficulty (0-10). MR arthrograms were assessed for adequacy of joint distension, diagnostic utility, and extra-capsular contrast leakage. All 120 patients had a successful ultrasound-guided injection with adequate joint distension and diagnostic utility for MR arthrography. In-plane needle guidance was less technically demanding, quicker, required fewer injection attempts, and had a lower frequency of contrast leakage than out-of-plane needle guidance. The posterior glenohumeral approach was less technically demanding though had a higher frequency of contrast leakage and caused more patient discomfort than the rotator interval approach. For ultrasound-guided shoulder joint injection, an in-plane approach is preferable. The posterior glenohumeral approach is less technically demanding though causes more patients discomfort than the rotator interval approach possibly due to the longer needle path. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.


Carita Tsoi, Chris S C Tsai, Eric K C Law, Ryan K L Lee, Alex W H Ng, James F Griffith. A comparison of ultrasound-guided rotator interval and posterior glenohumeral injection techniques for MR shoulder arthrography. Clinical imaging. 2021 Jan;69:255-260

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PMID: 33002752

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