Table 1

Ultrasonographic diagnostic criteria of shoulder abnormalities

Shoulder abnormalityDiagnostic criteria
Biceps sheath effusionThickness of the hypoechoic halo of fluid surrounding the biceps tendon greater than 2 mm
Biceps tendinitisIncreased fluid within the synovial sheath and tendon hypoechogenicity and/or thickening
Biceps tendon rupturePartial or complete interruption of the tendon fibres, separation of the ends and hypoechoic fluid filling the defect
Biceps tendon subluxationEmpty bicipital groove and identification of the displaced tendon
Biceps tendon degenerationTendon hypoechogenicity and tendon thinning
Rotator cuff tendinitisTendon hypoechogenicity or tendon thickening with or without internal hypo or hyperechoic foci
Subscapularis full thickness tearNon-visualisation of tendon or complete fibres discontinuity
Subscapularis partial thickness tearPartial fibre discontinuity
Supraspinatus and infraspinatus full thickness tearNon-visualisation of tendon or fibre discontinuity from the humeral head to the subacromial-subdeltoid bursa or superior convexity instead of concavity
Supraspinatus and infraspinatus partial thickness tearHypoechoic fibre discontinuity involving the bursal or articular surface or intrasubstance hypoechoic defect or focal tendon thinning
Subacromial-subdeltoid bursitisHypoechoic fluid filled bursa greater than 2 mm thick
Acromioclavicular degenerative changesCortical irregularities or osteophytes, usually acompanied by intra-articular hypoechoic fluid displacing joint capsule
Glenohumeral effusionDistance from the posterior labrum to the posterior infraspinatus tendon greater than 2 mm
Rotator cuff calcificationsHyperreflective foci or lines with acoustic shadowing
Rotator cuff impingementA buckling of the cuff/rippling effect as the cuff passes beneath the coracoacromial arch or fluid distending the subacromial-subdeltoid bursa or thickened bursa in front of the acromion while the arm is abducted