Objective: To compare the diagnostic accuracy of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), 2-dimensional magnetic resonance arthrogram (MRA) and 3-dimensional isotropic MRA in the diagnosis of rotator cuff tears when performed exclusively at 3-T. Materials and methods: A systematic review was undertaken of the Cochrane, MEDLINE and PubMed databases in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. Studies comparing 3-T MRI or 3-T MRA (index tests) to arthroscopic surgical findings (reference test) were included. Methodological appraisal was performed using QUADAS 2. Pooled sensitivity and specificity were calculated and summary receiver-operating curves generated. Kappa coefficients quantified inter-observer reliability. Results: Fourteen studies comprising 1332 patients were identified for inclusion. Twelve studies were retrospective and there were concerns regarding index test bias and applicability in nine and six studies respectively. Reference test bias was a concern in all studies. Both 3-T MRI and 3-T MRA showed similar excellent diagnostic accuracy for full-thickness supraspinatus tears. Concerning partial-thickness supraspinatus tears, 3-T 2D MRA was significantly more sensitive (86.6 vs. 80.5 %, p = 0.014) but significantly less specific (95.2 vs. 100 %, p < 0.001). There was a trend towards greater accuracy in the diagnosis of subscapularis tears with 3-T MRA. Three-Tesla 3D isotropic MRA showed similar accuracy to 3-T conventional 2D MRA. Conclusion: Three-Tesla MRI appeared equivalent to 3-T MRA in the diagnosis of full- and partial-thickness tears, although there was a trend towards greater accuracy in the diagnosis of subscapularis tears with 3-T MRA. Three-Tesla 3D isotropic MRA appears equivalent to 3-T 2D MRA for all types of tears.
- Magnetic resonance
- Rotator cuff