Ultrasound Imaging, Also Called “Sonography”.
Ultrasound (US) imaging is a method of obtaining images of internal organs by sending high-frequency sound waves into the body. The sound wave echoes are recorded and displayed as a real-time visual image. No x-ray is involved in ultrasound imaging. Ultrasound is painless and safe.
Ultrasound also has a wide application in radiology and is used to image many organs, including the:
- Blood Vessels
- Abdominal Organs
The ultrasound transducer functions as both a loudspeaker (to create the sounds) and a microphone (to record them). As the sound waves echo from the internal organs, the sensitive microphone in the transducer records tiny changes in the sound’s pitch and direction. These signature waves are instantly measured and displayed by a computer, which in turn creates a real-time or live picture on the monitor. Still frames of the live picture are usually “frozen” to capture a series of images that are sent to the radiologist for interpretation. Because ultrasound provides real time images, it can also be used to guide procedures, such as needle biopsies, in which a thin needle is used to sample cells from an abnormal area for laboratory testing.
About the Procedure
A hand-held device called a transducer is placed on the patient’s skin. A gel is used to help transmit the sound into the body. The transducer sends the sound waves and receives the reflected sound waves. These signals are then sent to a computer for processing and image construction. These images that are produced can then be displayed on a video monitor or printed on film.