Magnetic resonance imaging and clinical features of glenoid labral flap tears.
OBJECTIVE: Displaced flaps of glenoid labral tissue are an uncommonly encountered finding on MRI of the shoulder, and are of unclear clinical significance. The purpose of this study is to describe the imaging characteristics of displaced glenoid labral flaps, evaluate for any common concomitant injuries, and identify the typical clinical presentation and management of patients with this lesion. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective, observational study was approved by the institutional review board. Nineteen patients with flap-type tears of the labrum on preoperative MRI were identified. Each examination was retrospectively reviewed by two radiologists for size, location, and signal intensity of the displaced flap of tissue, in addition to any co-existing labrum or cartilage pathological conditions and clinical information. RESULTS: All displaced flaps extended from the inferior margin of the glenoid into the axillary recess. The average size of the visualized flap was 10.9 by 6.0 by 2.6 mm. Seventy percent of the flaps had signal intensity isointense to labrum and hypointense to hyaline cartilage on T2-weighted images. All 19 patients had concomitant labral pathological conditions and 63% had cartilage defects, visualized on MRI. Clinical evidence of shoulder instability was seen in 83% of patients, and 67% were managed surgically. CONCLUSION: Glenoid labral flap tears have distinct imaging characteristics that may aid in their identification. Their presence should prompt careful evaluation of the glenoid articular cartilage. Recognition of a labral flap tear may have clinical importance, as 83% of patients with this finding demonstrated clinical evidence of shoulder instability, often requiring surgical intervention.
Stewart, JK; Taylor, DC; Vinson, EN
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