Diagnosis of small partial-thickness rotator cuff tears using vibro-acoustography

Nobuyuki Yamamoto, Randall R. Kinnick, Mostafa Fatemi, Takayuki Muraki, John W. Sperling, Scott P. Steinmann, Robert H. Cofield, Eiji Itoi, Kai Nan An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Vibro-acoustography is a new imaging technique based on the dynamic radiation force of ultrasound. The purpose of this study was to apply this new imaging technique to the diagnosis of small partial-thickness rotator cuff tears and to determine how small of tears could be detected with this imaging technique.

Methods: Seven supraspinatus tendons excised from embalmed cadavers were used. Three different sizes of partial-thickness bursal-sided tears (1, 3, and 5 mm3) were created in each specimen. The intersection of two co-focused ultrasound beams of slightly different frequency was swept across the intended imaging area. The acoustic emission data were collected and used to form and display a vibro-acoustography image of the tendon. Vibro-acoustography images were read by two orthopedic surgeons.

Results: The rotator cuff tear could be detected by vibro-acoustography in all specimens. The diagnostic concordance rate was 90.5 % and the kappa coefficient value was 0.88, which resulted in a high concordance. The diagnostic concordance rate for the 1 mm tear was 71.3 %, which was low concordance (κ = 0.481), whereas that for the 3 and 5 mm tears was 100 %.

Conclusions: We were able to detect a 3-mm tear by using vibro-acoustography. There is a possibility that this new imaging technique could become a useful imaging tool for the diagnosis of small partial-thickness rotator cuff tears.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-7
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Ultrasonics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Diagnosis
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Small tear
  • Vibro-acoustography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Diagnosis of small partial-thickness rotator cuff tears using vibro-acoustography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this