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What is Ultrasonography?

Medical ultrasound imaging involves the use of high frequency sound waves to produce pictures of different parts of the inside of the body. Ultrasound imaging is not an X-ray as it uses sound waves and not ionizing radiation. Ultrasound images are unlike x-rays also in that they are done in “real time” and are not just a picture taken at a single moment. Therefore, ultrasound imaging can help to show movement inside of body organs as well as the structure of the organs.

The following are some other uses for medical ultrasound imaging:

  • Cardiac ultrasound is used to diagnose problems with the heart and major blood vessels surrounding the heart.

  • Ultrasound imaging in gynecology is used to diagnose problems with the female reproductive tract, including being used to diagnose problems associated with infertility. Ultrasound is also used to monitor infertility treatments.

  • Ultrasound imaging is used to look for problems with other internal organs, such as the gallbladder, bladder, testicles, liver, spleen, kidneys, and pancreas.

  • Ultrasound imaging is also used to look for problems with glands, such as the thyroid.

  • Vascular ultrasound imaging is used to watch the blood flow in blood vessels or blood flow to tumors. Ultrasound doppler imaging and color flow mapping can show the flow of blood.

  • Ultrasound imaging is also used during medical procedures such as needle biopsies or egg retrieval during in vitro fertilization.

Laux, R. (2018). Ultrasonography. In J. L. Longe (Ed.), Gale virtual reference library: The Gale encyclopedia of nursing and allied health (4th ed.). Gale.

Recommended Ultrasonography Textbooks