Ultrasonic Imaging

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Ultrasonic Imaging is the practice of obtaining an image through the use of ultrasound. Such images are generated by using an ultrasonic transducer to transmit and receive sound waves, and then constructing a picture by processing the received signal. Ultrasonic imaging is widely used in clinical medicine to image anatomical structures as well as physiological and pathological processes.

Medical Applications

Although ultrasonic images are generally of lesser quality than those of other imaging modalities, such as CT and MRI, ultrasound remains popular due to its substantially lower cost, higher portability, and ability to easily generate real-time images of moving structures.


Ultrasonic imaging of the heart is used by cardiologists to evaluate heart structure and function, and to aid in the diagnosis of diseases related to the heart and circulatory system. Transthoracic (transducer placed on the chest) and transesophageal (transducer placed inside the esophagus) probes are typically used in such situations.


Ultrasound is routinely used as part of prenatal exams to monitor the development of unborn children. Transabdominal probes are generally employed.


Transvaginal probes can be used to evaluate gynecological problems.


Ultrasound can be used to diagnose, evaluate, and localize prostate cancer through the use of transrectal probes.

Bone Quality Assessment

Diagnosis of osteoporosis can be aided by devices that transmit ultrasonic pulses through bone. However, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) remains the gold standard in the field.


High intensity focussed ultrasound (HIFU) is used to ablate cancers, irritable pacemaking centers in the heart, and other undesirable tissues.