OBJECTIVE:The purpose of this study is to identify features seen at shoulder MR arthrography that distinguish between iatrogenic contrast material extravasation and inferior glenohumeral ligament (IGHL) complex tears. MATERIALS AND METHODS:MR arthrograms (n = 1740) were screened for extravasation through the IGHL complex. Cases were defined on the basis of surgical findings or definitive lack of extravasation in a fully distended joint immediately after contrast agent injection. The location of the disruption and the morphologic features of the torn margin were assessed and compared between groups. RESULTS:Anterior band disruption was present in eight of 16 patients with true tears and in zero of 19 patients with iatrogenic contrast material extravasation (p < 0.001). Isolated extravasation through the posterior half of the axillary pouch was present in 12 patients with iatrogenic extravasation, compared with none of the patients with true tears (p < 0.001). Thick ends were present in 10 of the true tears, whereas none of the cases of iatrogenic extravasation showed this finding (p < 0.001). Scarred margins were seen in eight true tears and none of the iatrogenic extravasation cases (p < 0.001). The presence of a torn anterior band, thick ligament, reverse-tapered caliber, and scarred appearance of the torn margin were shown to be 100.0% specific, and a torn posterior band showed 84.2% specificity for true tears. The presence of isolated involvement of the posterior portion of axillary pouch showed 63.2% sensitivity and 100.0% specificity for iatrogenic extravasation. CONCLUSION:A torn anterior band, a thickened ligament (> 3 mm), reverse-tapered caliber, and scarred margin were 100.0% specific for a tear. Isolated disruption of the posterior axillary pouch was 100.0% specific for iatrogenic extravasation.