Paralabral cyst of the shoulder

Paralabral cysts of the shoulder 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 postero-superior 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 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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Article information

rID: 38082
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Paralabral cyst of the shoulders
  • Paralabral cysts of the shoulder
  • Paralabral cyst of shoulder
  • Paralabral cysts of shoulder
  • Paraglenoid labral cysts
  • Paraglenoid labral cyst

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