Paralabral cyst of the shoulder

Last revised by Dr Dai Roberts on 03 Oct 2021

Paralabral cysts of the shoulder are a location-specific type of paralabral cysts. They are an infrequent finding on MRI, however, are an important diagnostic entity as they may cause a compression neuropathy of the suprascapular or axillary nerves depending on where they occur, along with a variety of other symptoms. 

They may occur in around 2-4% of the population and presentation may be commoner in males (especially around the third to fourth decades).

The exact pathogenesis is not well known and they may represent a synovial cyst, ganglion cyst or pseudocyst.

There is a high association with glenoid labral tears.

They most frequently occur along the posterior, anterior, and superior aspects of the glenohumeral joint in decreasing order, with inferiorly located cysts being the least common. The posterosuperior location may be the most common 5.

May be seen as a variably sized cyst in close proximity to the glenohumeral joint.

A paralabral cyst is termed when a focal well-defined collection of fluid is seen within 1 cm of the glenoid labrum. They can be unilocular or multilocular. They may be difficult to identify on MR arthrography unless a T2 sequence is performed. Direct communication between a cyst and joint is not commonly seen.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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  • Case 2
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  • Case 3
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  • Case 4
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  • Paralabral cyst o...
    Case 5
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  • Case 6
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  • Case 7
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  • Case 8: with quadrangular space syndrome
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  • Case 9: with suprascapular neuropathy
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  • Case 10
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