To try to define an association between clinical history and the finding of isolated teres minor denervation on routine magnetic resonance (MR) examination of the shoulder.

A retrospective review of all shoulder MR examinations performed at our institution over a 2-year period ( n=2,563)

All patients and MR examinations demonstrating isolated denervation of the teres minor muscle as determined by review of this subset of patients ( n=61)

A 3% incidence of isolated teres minor denervation was found. No patient had a clinical history concerning the classic quadrilateral space syndrome, and no patient had a structural lesion in the quadrilateral space.

Isolated teres minor denervation is not an uncommon finding on routine shoulder MR imaging and may be associated with pathology other than a structural lesion in and about the axillary neurovascular structures, such as rotator cuff injuries and traction injury on the axillary nerve sustained during a glenohumeral joint translational event.