synovitis mri ighl shoulder


MRI Capsulo Synovitis IGHL. At our MRI workshops we have an Open Mic policy. People are encouraged to interrupt and ask questions at anytime because its best to clear doubts at the time topics are being discussed rather than wait till the end or never get to asking it at all.


One of the more consistent questions is about synovitis in the shoulder where certain sites are specifically involved but don’t have the typical appearance of synovitis we discussed in a previous post The Many Faces of Synovitis.


So on MRI where do you look and what do you look for in Capsulo Synovitis in the Shoulder.

In the shoulder there are two specific areas affected which are really a mixture of synovitis and capsulitis

  • The Inferior Gleno Humeral Ligament (IGHL) and
  • The Rotator Interval.

The IGHL, is normally black on PD and PDFS scans and is relatively thin.



Image above: Yellow arrows normal IGHL low signal on PD. Normal thickness.

With capsulitis/synovitis, the IGHL thickens and becomes hyper-intense on the PD and PDFS scans.


Image above: Diffuse thickening and increased PD signal of the IGHL (yellow arrows).



Image Above: Thickened IGHL with significant increase in signal on the PDFS image (first image).On the second PD non fat scan the IGHL is hyperintense (as it should be normally black) but it stands out more on PDFS.

    • Whilst you can see it on axial scans IGHL capsulo- synovitis is best assessed on Coronal Scans.


  • The easiest sequence to recognize the hyper-intensity is the PDFS scan and the thickening is best seen on non fat saturated PD scans.

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