Peter J. Millett, M.D., Carly A. Lockard, Katharine J. Wilson, Charles P. Ho, Richard C. Shin, & J. Christoph Katthagen



The purpose of this study was to develop quantitative T2 mapping methodology in asymptomatic shoulders for the entire mappable region of the glenohumeral cartilage in the coronal and sagittal planes, to assess the feasibility and limitations of the development of a diagnostic tool for future application in symptomatic patients.

Materials and methods

Twenty-one asymptomatic volunteers underwent sagittal and coronal glenohumeral T2 mapping, as the spherical geometry of the humeral head obviates the need to evaluate the entire glenohumeral cartilage in a single plane. The humeral head cartilage orthogonal to the mapping plane was manually segmented in the sagittal and coronal planes, whereas the glenoid cartilage was segmented in the coronal plane. Cartilage T2 summary statistics were calculated and coverage in each mapping plane was qualitatively assessed.


The mean ± standard deviation of the glenoid cartilage T2 was 38 ± 2 ms. The coronal and sagittal mapping planes captured different regions of the humeral head with some overlap: inferior–medial to superior–lateral versus superior/superior–lateral to anterior–lateral and posterior–lateral respectively. The mean humeral head cartilage T2 in the coronal plane was 41 ± 3 ms, which was significantly different (p < 0.05) from the sagittal plane mean of 34 ± 2 ms.


This study measured characteristic glenoid and humeral head cartilage T2 values over the area mappable with two planes. Importantly, this study demonstrated that two-dimensional mapping in a single plane or two combined planes cannot capture the entirety of the semi-spherical humeral head cartilage. This highlights the need for three-dimensional T2 mapping techniques in the shoulder.

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