Tears at the rotator cuff footprint: prevalence and imaging characteristics in 305 MR arthrograms of the shoulder.
To evaluate the prevalence, imaging characteristics and anatomical distribution of tears at the rotator cuff (RC) footprint with MR arthrography (MR-A) of the shoulder.MR arthrograms obtained in 305 patients were retrospectively reviewed. Partial articular-sided supraspinatus tendon avulsions (PASTA), concealed interstitial delaminations (CID), reverse PASTA lesions and full-thickness tears (FT) at the humeral tendon insertion were depicted. Anatomical locations were determined and depths of tears were classified.112/305 patients showed RC tears, including 63 patients with 68 footprint tears. 34 PASTA lesions were detected with 20/34 involving the anterior supraspinatus (SSP) tendon and 17/34 PASTA lesions were grade I lesions. Most CID lesions (14/23) occurred at the posterior SSP and 20/23 were classified as grade I or II. 9 FT and 2 reverse PASTA lesions were found. Statistical analysis revealed no difference in anatomical location (p = 0.903) and no correlation with overhead sports activity (p = 0.300) or history of trauma (p = 0.928). There were significantly more PASTA lesions in patients< 40 years of age (p = 0.029).Most RC tears detected with MR-A involve the SSP footprint and are articular-sided with predominance in younger patients, but concealed lesions are not as uncommon as previously thought.