Distal biceps tendon injury: MR imaging diagnosis.

Fitzgerald SW, Curry DR, Erickson SJ, Quinn SF, Friedman H. Radiology 1994 Apr;191(1):203-6.

To review the authors’ experience with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of patients with suspected injury of the distal biceps tendon.

Twenty-one patients with clinically suspected injury of the distal biceps tendon were evaluated with MR imaging. Surgical correlation was performed in 15 patients, and long-term clinical follow-up was performed in the remaining six cases.

Twelve complete biceps tears, four partial tears, one brachialis rupture, and one ganglion were identified. Axial MR images were more valuable than sagittal images in accurately grading distal biceps tendon injury preoperatively. There was 100% agreement between MR imaging and surgical findings. MR imaging findings led to changes in clinical treatment plans in eight patients (38%).

MR imaging is useful in the evaluation of patients with suspected distal biceps tendon injury. In particular, axial MR images of the distal biceps insertion are important for accurate grading of the injury.