Accuracy of MR arthrography in the detection of posterior glenoid labral injuries of the shoulder

Allison Rixey, Nicholas Rhodes, Naveen Murthy, Matthew Johnson, Nicholas Larson, Michael D. Ringler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the accuracy of MR arthrography in detecting isolated posterior glenoid labral injuries using arthroscopy as the reference standard. Methods: MR arthrograms of 97 patients with isolated posterior glenoid labral tears by arthroscopy and those of 96 age and gender-matched controls with intact posterior labra were reviewed by two blinded radiologists for the presence and location of posterior labral abnormalities. The sensitivity and specificity of detection of posterior labral tears were calculated as well as the prevalence of associated pathologies. Medical records were reviewed for demographics, history and direction of shoulder instability, and prior surgery. Results: Posterior labral pathology was detected by MR arthrography with sensitivities of 76% and 84% for readers 1 and 2, and a specificity of 88% for both readers. Kappa value for interreader agreement was 0.91. Twenty-two of twenty-three (96%) tears isolated to the posteroinferior quadrant on arthroscopy were correctly identified on MRI. Commonly associated pathologies included paralabral cyst (38%), humeral fracture (7%), and glenoid fracture (2%). Fifteen of ninety-seven (16%) patients with posterior tears on both arthroscopy and MRI had glenoid rim deficiency on imaging versus no patients with intact posterior labra (p < 0.001). Forty of ninety-seven (41%) patients with posterior tears on arthroscopy had a history of posterior instability versus none without posterior tears. There was no significant difference in tear length on MRI between those with a history of instability and those without (p = 0.56). Conclusion: MR arthrography is accurate in detecting posterior glenoid labroligamentous injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-181
Number of pages7
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • MR arthrography
  • Posterior glenoid labral tear
  • Posterior glenoid labrum
  • Shoulder arthroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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