Shoulder (axial view)

Dr Henry Knipe and Mr Andrew Murphy et al.

The shoulder axial view is a supplementary projection to the lateral scapula view to obtaining orthogonal images to the AP shoulder; it is an appropriate projection to assess suspected dislocations, proximal humerus pathology and effective in demonstrating the articular surfaces of the humeral head and glenoid 1-3 .

  • the patient is seated next to the image receptor
  • image receptor is placed at mid thoracic height
  • affected arm is abducted with the elbow resting on the detector; it must be abducted enough that the glenohumeral joint is central to the image detector. This may require the patient to lean slightly
  • the patient's head is to be tilted away towards the unaffected side 
  • axial projection (superior-inferior)
  • centring point
    • glenohumeral joint with a 5-15° degree towards the patient's elbow
  • collimation
    • anterior-posterior to the skin margins 
    • lateral to proximal third of the humerus 
    • medial to include glenohumeral joint
  • orientation  
    • landscape
  • detector size
    • 18 cm x 24 cm
  • exposure
    • 50-60kVp
    • 8-15 mAs
  • SID
    • 100 cm
  • grid
    • no

Clear visualisation of the humeral head  (with no superimposition)  and its relationship with the glenoid of the scapula. In addition to the acromion and the coracoid process.

The problem with this projection most radiographers face is patient discomfort, this projection can cause great discomfort even in healthy patients. The standard axial view as covered above, may not be suitable for patients with dislocations or significant glenohumeral trauma, in this case, it would be best to perform a modified trauma axial projection of the glenohumeral joint, thus projection is proven to provide a high standard of diagnostic information, slightly better even than the lateral shoulder projection 4

Radiographic views
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Article information

rID: 52965
Section: Radiography
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and figures

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    Figure 1: axial shoulder - pediatric
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    Normal shoulder
    Figure 2: normal axial
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