All About Ultrasounds

Imaging centers in Flushing NY offer a variety of radiologic technologies including CT scans, X-Rays, MRIs and ultrasound scans. Ultrasound scans involve the use of high-frequency sound waves and are widely used in many health care contexts. The image produced when ultrasound technology is used is called a sonogram.

How Do Ultrasounds Work?

The high-frequency sounds that are used in ultrasound technology are in the range between 2 and 18 megahertz, which is too high for most human ears to identify. Images are produced when the sound bounces back or “echoes” towards its source. Sonograms are grey images in which density is represented by darker hues of grey.

Lower frequency sounds can penetrate more deeply within the body, but they produce much fuzzier images. Higher frequency sounds produce higher-quality sonograms, but the skin and superficial tissues absorb them more readily.

What Are the Medical Uses for Ultrasound Technology?

Ultrasounds are the imaging technology of choice when it comes to checking the progress of a pregnancy.

Other uses for ultrasounds include:

  • Abdominal sonography: Ultrasounds can generate images of the solid organs within the abdomen such as the liver, the kidneys, the spleen, the gall bladder and the bile ducts. Gastroenterologists can use these images in their diagnoses.
  • Echocardiograms: Echocardiograms are a specialized ultrasound technology that’s used to assess how well a patient’s cardiovascular system is functioning.
  • Transduction technologies: Transducers are wands into which very tiny ultrasound devices have been embedded. Transducers are used to examine the tissues of the vagina and rectum. Micro-transducers have even been used to examine the walls of blood vessels.

Non-Medical Uses for Ultrasound Technology

Ultrasound technology is also used in a variety of contexts outside the health care sector.

  • The oil industry: Ultrasound technology has been used to detect cracks and other defects in oil pipelines.
  • Cleaning: Cavitation bubbles are small vapor-filled bubbles that are caused when ultrasound waves cause pressure changes in liquids. Cavitation bubbles are frequently used to clean delicate objects with multiple surfaces like pieces of jewelry and medical instruments.

Insect control: Instruments that generate ultrasonic buzzes are frequently touted as an effective means of repelling mosquitoes.

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