less than 1 minute read



Ultrasound was the first nonradiologic technique used to image the body. Ultrasound in radiology stems from the development of pulse-echo radar during World War II. First used to detect defects in metal structures, ultrasound, or sonography, became a useful diagnostic tool in the late 1950s and early 1970s. As its name suggests, ultrasound uses sound waves rather than electro-magnetic radiation to image structures.

A common use of ultrasound is to provide images of a fetus. A sound transmitter is used to send waves into the body from various angles. As these waves bounce back off the uterus and the fetus, they are recorded both on a television screen and in a photograph. With the more advanced Doppler ultrasound, this technology can be used for everything from imaging atherosclerotic disease (the thickening of arteries) to evaluating the prostate and rectum.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Quantum electronics to ReasoningRadiology - The X Ray: Fundamental Building Block Of Radiology, How The X Ray Works, Ultrasound