Utility of sonoelastography for the evaluation of rotator cuff tendon and pertinent disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Chiu Y., Chang K., Chen I., Wu W., ÖZÇAKAR L.

EUROPEAN RADIOLOGY, vol.30, no.12, pp.6663-6672, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00330-020-07059-2
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.6663-6672
  • Keywords: Shoulder, Ultrasonography, Tendinopathy, Rotator cuff, Elasticity imaging techniques, REAL-TIME SONOELASTOGRAPHY, ULTRASOUND ELASTOGRAPHY, ADHESIVE CAPSULITIS, DIAGNOSIS, TENDINOPATHIES, QUALITY, DISEASE
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Objectives Sonoelastography has been increasingly used to investigate musculoskeletal disorders. The aim of this meta-analysis was to investigate the utility of sonoelastography in diagnosing rotator cuff tendon pathology and pertinent disorders. Methods Searching through PubMed and Embase, we systemically reviewed clinical studies in which sonoelastography has been used for imaging rotator cuff tendon pathology and relevant disorders. The primary outcome was the standardized mean difference (SMD) of tendon elasticity between shoulders (or patients) with and without the designated pathological conditions. Results A total of 11 cross-sectional studies were included in the meta-analysis. The supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons assessed by shear wave sonoelastography were likely to be stiffer in shoulders with adhesive capsulitis, with a SMD of 2.103 (95% confidence interval (CI), - 0.151 to 4.357,p = 0.067) and a SMD of 1.548 (95% CI, - 0.032 to 3.127,p = 0.055), respectively. Regarding rotator cuff tendinopathy, there was no significant difference in the elasticity of supraspinatus tendons evaluated by shear wave velocity (SMD = - 0.107; 95% CI, - 0.524 to 0.310,p = 0.615) or strain ratios (SMD = 0.153, 95% CI, - 2.134 to 2.440,p = 0.896). Only one study used shear wave sonoelastography to investigate patients with rotator cuff tendon tears and found tendon that elasticity was similar between diseased and normal shoulders. Conclusion This meta-analysis revealed that supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons tended to be stiffer in shoulders with adhesive capsulitis. Furthermore, no significant difference in tendon elasticity could be identified between shoulders with and without rotator cuff tendinopathy or tendon tears.