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Ultra Sound

Ultrasound is sound of high pressure that possesses a frequency greater than the upper limit of human hearing range. An ultrasound device releases these kinds of sound waves that reflect from the various body parts. The reflected sound waves are called echoes. The characteristics of the echoes are employed to have a shadow visualization of the concerned body part under the skin surface. The technique is found to be efficient in examining the interfaces between the fluid filled spaces & solid structures.

The technique using this principle is termed as ultrasonography. In this device, a probe/transducer is used for passing and receiving the sound waves of appropriate frequency. Application of a specific gel is essential so that the sound waves pass through the body region undistorted. A fair amount of time is needed for the radiologist to clearly examine and diagnose the problem.

There are several factors that determine the quality of the sound waves. These are:

  • Since the energy associated with sound waves is comparatively lesser than the light waves, these waves are unable to penetrate deeply. Therefore, imaging an obese person becomes a matter of concern.
  • The diagnostic procedure yields distorted results when there is gas between the target organ and the probe. This is because sound waves have different velocities, and degree of refraction through different substances. Naturally, ultrasound fails to image the chest, where lungs are filled with air.
  • Sound waves are also incapable of effectively penetrating the bone tissues because they are hard.
  • The precision obtained largely depends upon the technician.

Technologies like the Doppler technology have increased the performance and reliability of this procedure. Doppler makes it possible to detect the blood flow to various organs like heart and other blood vessels.

Some of the prominent kinds of ultrasounds are abdominal ultrasound, breast ultrasound, Doppler ultrasound, pregnancy ultrasound, thyroid ultrasound, vascular ultrasound etc.