Background: Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can provide valuable information regarding the microstructure of tissues by monitoring the random movement of water molecules. The diffusion data can be used for determination of quantitative diffusion values such as the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC). The purpose of this study was to evaluate rotator cuff muscle activity using DWI.
Methods: DWI was performed before and after loaded on empty can test and full can test and compared before and after those tests.
Results: ADC of supraspinatus, infraspinatus and superior portion of subscapularis were increased after empty can test. ADC of supraspinatus, superior portion of infraspinatus and superior portion of subscapularis were increased after full can test. Anatomical study showed that the infraspinatus had contributed in shoulder abduction in shoulder internal rotation.
Discussion: This study showed the agreement with the anatomy of the previous study, an increase of ADC in supraspinatus and infraspinatus in empty can test and an increase of ADC in supraspinatus mainly in full can test. There were possibilities that DWI could evaluate the activity of rotator cuff muscle.