Ultrasound is a diagnostic procedure that relies on high-frequency sound waves to produce images of internal organs and soft tissues. Ultrasound images are captured in real-time, making it possible to monitor structure as well as movement within the body, such as blood flow, which makes ultrasound particularly useful in guiding needle biopsies and other minimally invasive procedures. For those medically excluded from having an MRI, such as a patient with a pacemaker or cochlear implant, ultrasound is a safe alternative. Ultrasound also does not involve any radiation.
Ultrasound has many diagnostic uses, including:
and venous imaging
to monitor the heart, evaluate blood flow, detect blockages or abnormalities
to assess pain, abnormalities, and function of most major organs (except the bowel)
to examine function and abnormalities in the bladder, uterus, ovaries fallopian tube, prostate
to estimate age of pregnancy, assess fetal growth and well-being
to assess injuries, hernias, and growths; ultrasound scans often provide more detail in soft tissues tendons and nerves than MRIs do