This study was performed to determine the effect of shoulder extension and flexion, imaging plane, and intra-articular paramagnetic contrast medium administration on the visibility of soft tissue structures surrounding the canine shoulder joint using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Eight dogs without shoulder disease were imaged using a 1.5 T MR scanner. In all dogs, T1- and T2-weighted spin-echo sequences in sagittal, transverse, and dorsal planes, and a sagittal short tau inversion recovery (STIR) sequence were acquired with the shoulder joint in extension. In five dogs, postintravenous contrast medium T1-weighted images were obtained and in five dogs, MR arthrography was performed in flexion and extension. Each specific soft tissue structure was assigned a visual assessment score of 0-3 and descriptive statistics were calculated. The biceps brachii, supraspinatus, and teres minor muscles and tendons, and the biceps tendon sheath were best seen in the sagittal and transverse planes. The infraspinatus was well-visualized in all planes, the subscapularis was best seen in the transverse and dorsal planes, and the capsuloligmentous complexes were best seen in the transverse and dorsal planes. Limb extension improved conspicuousness of the medial capsuloligamentous stuctures. Arthrography resulted in greater conspicuousness of the biceps brachii tendon, biceps tendon sheath, infraspinatus, supraspinatus, subscapularis, medial joint capsule, medial glenohumeral ligament, and the lateral joint capsule-glenohumeral ligament complex. The major periarticular anatomic structures of the normal canine shoulder were consistently identified using the protocols described in this investigation, but arthrography with the joint in extension resulted in the best visualization of all structures.
- Scapulohumeral joint
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