Ultrasound Imaging (US)

Ultrasound imaging (US), or sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves to view soft tissues of the human body such as internal organs and muscles. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show movement of the body’s internal organs as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.

In an ultrasound exam, the technologist operates a hand-held device called a transducer that is placed against the patient’s skin. The transducer sends out high frequency sound waves that reflect off of body structures. The returning sound waves, or echoes, are displayed as an image on a monitor.

The ultrasound image is based on the frequency and strength (amplitude) of the sound signal and the time it takes to return from the patient to the transducer. Unlike with an x-ray, there is no ionizing radiation exposure with this medical imaging technology.

Last Modified: February 24, 2015