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The History of Ultrasound

The textbook definition of ultrasound is energy generated by sound waves of 20,000 or more vibrations per second. Ultrasound is used in a large array of imaging tools. Often used for medical diagnostics, ultrasound uses sound waves that are far above the frequency heard by the human ear. A transducer gives off the sound waves and reflected back from organs and tissues, allowing a picture of what is inside the body to be drawn on a screen. Ultrasound can be used to look for tumors, analyze bone structure, or examine the health of an unborn baby.

Two researchers are noted in the history of ultrasound and medical imaging. They are: Doctor Karl Theodore Dussik of Austria, who published the first paper on medical ultrasonics in 1942, based on his research on transmission ultrasound investigation of the brain; and Professor Ian Donald of Scotland, who developed practical technology and applications for ultrasound in the 1950s.

History of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Use Audio/Visual link to view short videos on the "History of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology"

Ultrasound in Pregnancy
Ultrasound photos, sites and lessons. Learn about this test and why and how it is used in pregnancy.

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©Mary Bellis

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