What are Ultrasound Scans?
Ultrasound scans were introduced in the late 1950′s and are used for diagnosing in obstetrics and examining body organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys. Ultrasound scans are images of the internal organs made from sound waves. The information gathered from the reflections are brought back into a picture on the monitor. Movements are detected and measurements can be made from the images on the screen. Gestational age, fetal heart beat, and growth size can all be determined from an ultrasound scan.
- Pregnancy Ultrasound – Overview – Facts about pregnancy ultrasound scans.
- Ultrasound– An overview of what an ultrasound show during different stages of pregnancy.
- Diagnostic Ultrasound – The condition and stages ultrasound scans are used for.
- Ultrasound – Learn what an ultrasound scan is and the different ways of testing with it.
- Ultrasonography – Information on ultrasounds and how they are performed.
- Ultrasound FAQs– A list of facts about ultrasounds, including how they are performed and risks.
- Radiology Tests Used For Kidney Stones: XRay, Ultrasound, CT Scan, IVP and CT Urography– The different ways to check for a kidney stone.
- Fetal Ultrasounds – Information and images on the history of ultrasounds and why they are used.
- Introduction to Emergency Ultrasound – A review of different emergency findings ultrasounds can detect/
- Frequently asked Questions About Ultrasounds– FAQ’s about kinds of ultrasounds.
Why and when is Ultrasound used in A Pregnancy?
An ultrasound is used to diagnose an early pregnancy. A gestational sac can be seen as early as four and a half weeks of gestation and the yolk sac can be seen around five weeks. Around five and a half weeks, measurements can be taken of the embryo. If vaginal bleeding is present in an early pregnancy, an ultrasound can be used to detect a fetal heart beat around 6 weeks. A blighted ovum can also be detected by an ultrasound, which is an empty sac with no fetal pole or heart. Ultrasounds can determine fetal age, especially early in a pregnancy. Ultrasounds help predict the gestational age of the fetus for women who are unsure of when their last menstrual cycle was. An ultrasound locates where the placenta is in the womb. This is important because there are many abnormalities that can occur with the placenta. For example, placenta previa and intrauterine growth retardation. An ultrasound can detect the amount of amniotic fluid inside the uterus. Excessive or decreased amounts of fluid can both cause a problem to the pregnancy.
- High Risk Pregnancy – A comprehensive guide on how ultrasound scans are used for high risk pregnancies.
- Post-term Pregnancy – An outline of what an ultrasound scan looks for in post-term pregnancy.
- First Trimester Screening – An informative guide on how ultrasound scans are important in the first trimester of pregnancy.
- Ultrasound in Pregnancy– Learn what an ultrasound looks for in different stages of pregnancy.
- High-Risk Pregnancy Ultrasounds– Understand the risk and benefits of an ultrasound.
- Fetal Echocardiography– A fetal echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart inside the womb.
- Ectopic Pregnancy– An ultrasound can detect if a pregnancy is ectopic.
- Doppler Ultrasound in High Risk Pregnancies -Information on how an ultrasound is useful for high risk pregnancies.
- Amniotic Fluid Problems / Hydramnios /Oligohydramnios– Information on low and excessive amniotic fluid and how an ultrasound diagnoses the condition.
What are 3-D and 4-D Ultrasounds?
A 3-D ultrasound gives 3 dimensional images of what is being scanned. Images are taken and sliced, then the computer interprets the images given as 3 dimensional. With computer controls, the operator can obtain views that might not be as clear as a 2-D ultrasound scan. Measurements are more correct and there is more of a psychological bond formed with the parents and baby. 3-D ultrasounds have been used to detect cleft lips, fetal cardiac problems, and chromosomal abnormalities. Recently, 4-D scanners have become the new attraction in the market. It can capture the facial movement of a baby. Experts agree that 3-D and 4-D ultrasounds are not necessary and that a 2-D scan is still suitable for diagnosing.
- 3D/4D Ultrasound Imaging– A review of the technology behind 3-D and 4-D ultrasounds.
- What is a Prenatal Ultrasound?– Information on how to prepare for a 3-D ultrasound.
- Obstetric Ultrasound – The official statement of the American Institute of Ultrasound in medicine about 3-D and 4-D ultrasound protocols.
Are Ultrasounds Safe?
Different from x-rays, ultrasounds do not give off any ionizing irradiation or embryo toxic effects. High intensity ultrasounds coincide with the effects of cavitation and heating. Studies done in a laboratory setting show no abnormalities in embryos from the use of diagnostic ultrasounds. Smaller studies in Europe have shown some ill-effects such as speech and hearing problems as well as low birth weight.
- Information on Radiological Imaging: Ultrasound – An explanation of what an ultrasound is and its safety.
- Prenatal Testing: Ultrasound Safety and Accuracy– Information on the safety of pregnancy ultrasounds.
- Keepsake Ultrasound Pictures – An article about the safety of commercial sonograms from the American Pregnancy Association.
- Ultrasound During Pregnancy – Information on ultrasounds, including how they are done, information they can detect, and the safety of the procedure.
- Are Ultrasound “Snapshots” of Your Baby a Good Idea?– Basic information about ultrasound technology and safety.
- Ultrasound in Pregnancy – Detailed information about ultrasound procedures including safety.