Imaging of the coracoglenoid ligament: a third ligament in the rotator interval of the shoulder

Marcello Zappia, Alessandro Castagna, Antonio Barile, Vito Chianca, Luca Brunese, Nicole Pouliart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The coracoglenoid ligament (CGL) forms part of the anterosuperior capsuloligamentous complex of the shoulder. Although it has received attention in the anatomical literature, it has not been investigated on imaging. The purpose of this study is to determine the percentage value and the interobserver agreement of identification and classification of the CGL on MR and MR arthrography (MRA) imaging. Materials and methods: Retrospectively, 280 MR and 150 MRA examinations were evaluated for detection of the CGL by two musculoskeletal radiologists. On the MRA examinations the CGL configuration in relation to the superior glenohumeral (SGHL) and coracohumeral ligament (CHL) was classified into five types. Additionally, the percentage of intra-articular appearance of the CGL and its mean thickness value were calculated. Finally, a possible correlation between pathological condition and anatomical type was evaluated on MRA. Results: The CGL could be identified in 56%/54% of MRI and in 76%/77% of MRA examinations. On MRA, the CGL was detected as distinct structures in 37%/35% of cases and it appeared fused (partially or totally) with the SGHL and/or CHL in 39%/42%; it was absent in 12%/12% and it appears undistinguishable in the remaining cases. The interobserver agreement was excellent (κ = 0.98 for detection on MRI; p = 0.927 for classification of anterosuperior anatomy on MRA; κ = 0.873 and 0.978 for identification on sagittal and axial external rotation MRA respectively; κ = 0.943 for classification as intra- or extra-articular on MRA). Conclusions: The CGL can be reliably identified on MRI and MRA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1101-1111
Number of pages11
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2017


  • Coracoglenoid ligament
  • Glenohumeral ligaments
  • Imaging
  • MR
  • MRA
  • Shoulder
  • Superior complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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