mri musculotendinous junction cysts and delaminating rotator cuff tears


On MRI Rotator cuff delaminating tears can result in Musculotendinous Junction Cysts.


These Musculotendinous junction cysts are seen in the rotator cuff tendons, mostly in Supraspinatus and less commonly in infraspinatus.


In this post we look at the appearance of both Delaminating Rotator cuff tears and Musculotendinous junction cysts.

  • MTJ cysts area result of an underlying articular surface delaminating tear.
  • The tear extends through the tendon and when it gets to the MTJ, is arrested.
  • Fluid keeps accumulating in the tear which wells up at the MTJ to form a cyst.


mri delaminating tear rotator cuff musculotendinoud junction cysts

Centered at the MTJ, but if large can extend into the tendon and muscle.

  • Can be single or multiple cysts (Pink arrows).
  • Usually not septated and no enhancement.
  • May see connecting delaminating tear (Blue arrows).


mri delaminating tear rotator cuff musculotendinous junction cyst

Here is what to look for when assessing MTJ cysts.


  1. Location (which tendon) of cyst/s.
  2. Size of cyst/s.
  3. A delaminating tear extending to the cyst.


We look at musculotendinous junction cysts and delaminating tears in more detail in the MRI Shoulder Mini Fellowship. Click on the image below.

#radedasia #mri #mskmri #radiology

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