From the monthly archives

December 2009

How Exactly Does Ultrasound Technology Work?

by admin on December 08, 2009

Under Ultrasound that is a sound wave not audible to human ears and ranges between according to estimated scientific calculation to be around 20 kilohertz (20,000) hertz in healthy young and adults. Due to its unique behavior ultrasound is used in a number of areas. However, the most common use for ultrasound technique is in the area of sonography to produce images of fetuses in the human womb. There are many other uses for ultrasound too.

The understanding about the working of an Ultrasound Technology can be understood as under steps as mentioned below as ultrasound machine transmits high-frequency sound pulses into human body for the purpose of probe, these sound waves travel through and into human body and hits on a boundary between tissues for example like among fluid and soft tissue, soft tissue and bone. In the process certain sound waves are reflected back to the probe and some other reaches to another boundary and are get reflected back. There reflected waves are picked up by the probe and then are relayed to the machine.

Then the machine calculates the distance from the probe to the tissue or organ using the speed of sound in tissue and then displays the distances and intensities of the echoes on the screen creating a two dimensional image. In an ultrasound thus millions of pulses and echoes are sent and received each second and thus probe is done in a manner along the surface of the body and angled to receive various views of the body.

In a basic ultrasound machine there happens to be parts like Transducer probe for sending and receiving sound waves, central processing unit (CPU) for doing all the calculations and controlling electrical power supplies.   Transducer pulse controls changes the amplitude, frequency and duration of the pulses as emitted out from the transducer probe. Image display shows the image from ultrasound data processed by the CPU, keyboard cursor insert data and takes measurements from the display. Disk storage device keeps record of the acquired images.

However, with the advancement of the technology now ultrasound machines have become capable of showing three-dimensional images. In these machines a number of two dimensional images are acquired from moving the probe across the body surface or revolving inserted probes. Then after, two dimensional images are thus combined with the help of specific computer software to produce 3-D images to have a better understanding of the fetus. The 3 D imaging is used for a number of therapies and processes and especially in the early detection of cancerous and benign tumors. It is used for the treatment and processes like examining the prostate gland for early detection of tumors, looking for masses in the colon and rectum, detection of breast lesions for possible biopsies.