Objective: The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine if increased vascularity in the rotator interval area of the glenohumeral joint capsule could be visualized with power Doppler ultrasonography (PDUS) in patients with a clinical diagnosis of early-stage adhesive capsulitis.
Methods: Demographic and clinical characteristics from a consecutive series of 41 patients diagnosed with early-stage adhesive capsulitis were recorded and examination with PDUS was undertaken. Images were reviewed by 3 musculoskeletal radiologists, and consensus was determined on the presence of increased signal in the rotator interval area.
Results: Consensus was achieved on the presence of increased signal in 12 (29%) of the 41 cases. Participants with an increased PDUS signal did not demonstrate a characteristic set of identifying features, suggesting that those with increased vascularity may not constitute a distinct subgroup.
Conclusion: This study found that some patients diagnosed with early-stage adhesive capsulitis demonstrated increased vascularity in the rotator interval area when examined with PDUS. These findings suggest that PDUS may have the potential to assist in the identification of increased vascularization in early stages of this disorder. Further research in the use of PDUS in diagnosing early-stage adhesive capsulitis is warranted.
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