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Summary The aim of this study was to compare the diagnostic value of Magnetic Resonance Imaging as opposed to the radiological examination of the Articulatio humeri in dogs with healthy shoulders and in those with damaged shoulders. Firstly, a study of the shoulder joint structure was undertaken in which 25 dogs were examined. Once clinical and radiographical inspection showed that these dogs were free of illness in this area, magnetic resonance images were made. Furthermore, frozen sections were made from the shoulder joint regions of 2 medium sized dogs aged 5 and 6 years, which were killed in traffic accidents without injury to these regions. These MRI pictures and the frozen sections formed the analytical basis for the interpretation of the MRI and X-ray pictures of the patients. 23 patients (dogs) suffering shoulder joint lameness were examined with radiographical and MRI techniques. 17 of these patients also underwent arthroscopic investigation of the shoulder joint. These examinations yieled the following results. When using MRI, the rate of detection of OCD was 100%. The detection rate for tumours was 100%, for mineralization of the supraspinatus tendon 50% and for biceps brachii tenosynovitis 100%. In 15 % the cases the anatomical variations were overinterpreted. In comparison, using radiography 88.9% of the OCDs were detected and 100 % of mineralization of the supraspinatus tendon. The detection rate for tumours however was 50% and only 75% of the tendon sheath inflammations were detected. Although this study includes only one patient with a bone tumour, it can be presumed that neoplasia in the spongy bone substance can be detected with great sensitivity. In comparing X-ray and MRI it is clear that each procedure has its' specific diagnostic emphasis. Alterations in bone structure can be seen more clearly and accurately in X-rays while MRI provides the information about the neighbouring soft tissue. MRI is an especially useful supplement to X-ray pictures for the diagnostic of tendon illnesses and other soft tissue alterations. Radiological examination should however always be the first step when undertaking image producing examinations.