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Ultrasound

Echocardiography

Ultrasound techniques can be used to see the inside of the heart to identify abnormal structures or functions.  The ability to measure blood flow through the heart and major blood vessels is also diagnostically important and is a routine non invasive procedure.

 

Musculo - Skeletal Ultrasound

High resolution ultrasound imaging allows for real-time viewing of tendons, ligaments, muscles and nerves throughout the body.  Real time imaging of tendons, ligaments, and muscles allows for dynamic evaluation.  Musculo-Skeletal ultrasound can be used to identify tendon and ligament tears, inflamed bursa, compressed nerves, cysts and fluid within a joint.  Musculo-Skeletal ultrasound is also used to guide therapeutic injections such as for needle placement into joints for aspiration or injection.

 

General Ultrasound

Ultrasound is used routinely to diagnose a range of disease states within the body including

  • Diagnosis of gallbladder disease or obstruction
  • Assessment of the thyroid gland
  • Imaging of the genito-urinary tract including, kidneys, bladder and associated structures
  • Lumps and bumps (skin lesions, subcutaneous lesions etc)
  • Assessment of the abdomen (liver, spleen, adrenal glands, bowel, gall bladder, appendix, etc)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Obstetric Ultrasound

Ultrasound is commonly used for obstetrics and gynecology and has much utility in:

  • Measuring the size of the fetus to determine expected due date
  • Determining the position of the fetus
  • Checking the placenta for its position
  • Seeing the number of fetuses in-utero
  • Checking the sex of the fetus
  • Tracking the growth of the fetus over time
  • Detecting ectopic pregnancies
  • Determining the amount of amniotic fluid in-utero
  • Assessing ovaries and breast for tumors
  • Elastography
  • Ultrasound Elastography is a specialised ultrasound procedure which is used to differentiate between uncomplicated steatosis (fatty liver) versus micronodular cirrhosis (precursor to cirrhosis).  Often these two conditions look the same on normal ultrasound imaging.  Siemens Virtual TouchTM tissue imaging adds an independent parameter which measures the liver “stiffness” in a non invasive way.  The well established Metavir system (Gamel S & Khaled Z 2011) of staging liver fibrosis is used to grade the patients from F0 (normal) to F4 (cirrhosis).

 

Siemens ACUSON S2000 and General Electric VOLUSON scanners
Gold Coast Radiology Scanner:

The Siemens ACUSON S2000 and GE Voluson ultrasound machines combine state of the art ultrasound probes with innovative ultrasound applications, resulting in ultrasound imaging systems which deliver the most information from each and every ultrasound examination performed. 

The combination of the ACUSON S2000 and GE Voluson represent the pinnacle of innovative technology with workflow enhancing applications and state of the art ergonomic design.  Between the two types of machines available the systems are able to provide applications across general imaging, obstetrics and gynecology as well as vascular and cardiac imaging with efficiency and diagnostic accuracy.

 

How It Works:

Ultrasound imaging uses high frequency sound waves which penetrate the tissues and organs of the body.  The sound waves travel and hit boundaries between tissue such as between fluid and soft tissue, or soft tissue and bone.  Some of the sound waves are reflected back to the probe, whilst some of the sound waves travel further until they reach another boundary at which point they also get bounced back to the probe.

The reflected sound waves are picked up the by transducer or ultrasound probe and are stored on the ultrasound machine.  The ultrasound machine calculates the distance from the probe to the boundaries using the speed of sound of the sound wave in tissues, and the time of each of the reflections that return.  The distances and the strengths of the returning reflected sound are displayed on the ultrasound machines screen forming two dimensional images.

 

Ultrasound scan Advantages over Other Types of Scans:

The major advantage of ultrasound is that certain structures in the body can be observed without using radiation.  Ultrasounds usually can be arranged and done much faster than other X-Ray or CT techniques.