Ultrasound imaging uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of
internal body structures without use of radiation. Because ultrasound
images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement
of the body's internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.
A transducer is placed against the skin’s surface. Gel is placed
on the skin to improve the contact of the transducer to the area being
examined. The sound waves are recorded and displayed in the form of images
on a screen. Studies include:
- Abdominal ultrasound – assesses the gallbladder, spleen, pancreas
- Fetal/Obstetric ultrasound - Evaluates the size and age of a fetus and
assesses its growth, development and well-being during pregnancy. Can
be used to detect some, but not all, fetal abnormalities.
- Female pelvic ultrasound - Evaluates the uterus, ovaries and their surrounding anatomy.
- Renal artery ultrasound - This test evaluates blood flow to the kidneys
through the renal artery
- Scrotal ultrasound - Evaluates abnormalities of the testicles and surrounding tissues.
- Thyroid ultrasound - Evaluates the size of the thyroid gland and looks
for thyroid nodules.
- Vascular, carotid or deep vein ultrasound - Evaluates the body’s
circulatory system by monitoring the blood flow. Vascular ultrasound is
used to diagnose blockages, such as clots or plaque. Images may also be
used to plan or review the success of procedures such as vessel grafts.
- Ultrasound thyroid/neck biopsy - ultrasound is used to guide removal of
tissue to be analyzed by the laboratory. The affected area is numbed prior
to the procedure, which is performed by an Interventional Radiologist.