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of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Bethesda, Maryland
  Ultrasound (US) 


Medical Ultrasound (US) uses high frequency sound waves to create an image of living tissue. The basic technique is similar to weather radar and submarine ultrasound.  A sound signal is sent out, and the reflected "echoes" are used to create the image.  Ultrasound, unlike most other imaging methods, can create truly real-time "movies" of the heart beating, contraction of bowel loops (peristalsis), and can even show blood flowing. Using a special form of US called DOPPLER (just like police speed RADAR) the speed and direction of flowing blood can be measured and illustrated in color pictures. All of this without harming the patient.  This doppler technique allows Radiologists to detect blocked blood vessels in the neck, and elsewhere. One of the most common US procedures is the examination of the living fetus within the mother's womb (OBSTETRIC sonography).  US images (like CT and MRI) are viewed as if they were "sections" of the body.
US of Liver.
Hepatic veins enter IVC
US of Abdomen.
Liver (above) & Kidney