Ultrasound (US) imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, is a method of obtaining images of internal organs by sending high-frequency sound waves into the body. The reflected soundwaves' echoes are recorded and displayed as a real-time, visual image. No ionizing radiation (x-ray) is involved in ultrasound imaging.
Common uses of Ultrasound
Ultrasound imaging is used extensively for evaluating the kidneys, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, and blood vessels of the abdomen. Because it provides real time images, it can also be used to:
- A sample of cells (biopsy) can be taken at the same time for examination under the microscope by a pathologist.
- Help a physician determine the source of many abdominal pains, such as stones in the gall bladder or kidney, or an inflamed appendix.
- Help identify the cause for enlargement of an abdominal organ e.g., liver and spleen
Doppler ultrasound is a special type of ultrasound study that examines major blood vessels. These images can help the physician to see and evaluate:
- Blockages to blood flow, such as clots
- Build-up of plaque inside the vessel
- Congenital malformation