Sono Bits Page

A micro blog about topics of interest to our staff, patients, and the medical-imaging industry. 

2/23/2024
Why Have Your Ultrasound Done at an AIUM Accredited Practice?
Ultrasound scans are being performed everywhere. Not only in the standard radiology department in your local hospital, but also in the emergency room, urgent care clinics, your doctor’s office, and in some places, even at the local mall. But are you getting the same value for your money at each of these different sites? We have witnessed a very wide variety of skill levels within each of these departments. What can help you identify a reputable ultrasound facility? Look for an ultrasound practice that is accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, the only accrediting organization that focuses solely on ultrasound imaging. Applying for and obtaining your AIUM ultrasound accreditation is a vigorous process. It requires that all physician and sonographer staff have earned the appropriate credentials for the scans being performed and that they are up to date on their CME (continued medical education). Studies must be submitted for review to the accrediting team to ensure that the appropriate anatomy is being captured, image quality is optimal, and images are labeled. The ultrasound report is reviewed to confirm that the patient information and required imaging components for the study have been assessed and documented correctly. AIUM accreditation can help reassure the patient and the referring physician that their selected ultrasound department is aware of and following the current accepted standard guidelines for their exam. This can lead to reduced patient anxiety regarding the quality of the ultrasound scan. The goal is to help ultrasound departments achieve the best imaging possible to improve overall patient care and safety. Why is AIUM accreditation important?  Ultrasound technology has improved tremendously but its value is greatly dependent on who is doing the exam. The accreditation process helps a practice discover where its deficiencies are and can provide guidance on how to meet the minimum standards. Further training and education of the Sonographers and Sonologists will lead to improved patient safety and outcomes. Why pursue an ultrasound at an AIUM accredited practice?  Maybe the better question would be, why not make AIUM accreditation mandatory?
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11/24/2023
Ultrasound Exposure Unlikely to Cause Autism.
Originally Published by Boston University School of Public Health, March 6, 2018. The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder has progressively increased over the past few decades, with estimates now at 1 in 68 individuals affected. Research continues to work on identifying both the genetic and environmental factors that could lead to autism spectrum disorder. One factor that has been scrutinized is prenatal ultrasounds. As the technology has advanced, the number of ultrasounds that women have during pregnancy has increased substantially during the past several decades, and some argue that the previously established guidelines are no longer applicable. Now, a 2018 study co-authored by BU School of Public Health researchers has found that the number or duration of abdominal fetal ultrasounds are not associated with future development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Ultrasounds are a vital tool used by providers to evaluate the developing fetus at different points in pregnancy. An abdominal ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves, which are recorded and transformed into images of the fetus, the placenta, and the surrounding organs. These images are evaluated by providers to determine if normal development is taking place as well as to detect abnormalities, such as fetal brain and heart issues or problems with the placenta that could pose a risk to the mother or the fetus. The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends one or two ultrasounds for low-risk pregnancies; however, the number of medically necessary ultrasounds for all pregnancies, including high-risk, are determined by providers’ assessment of each woman’s risk factors and are done in order to help prevent and/or treat any complications that only an ultrasound can detect. “To our knowledge, this is the first study of its kind to examine current ultrasonography data and quantify the data as it may relate to different developmental outcomes in children,” say lead author N. Paul Rosman, professor of neurology at the School of Medicine. “It is critical to note that this data should not be misinterpreted because an association does not prove a cause and effect.” Researchers have found that the number and duration of abdominal fetal ultrasounds are not associated with future development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  The study included 420 participants (328 boys, 92 girls) born to mothers who received prenatal care and delivered their baby at the same hospital. Among the participants, 107 had been diagnosed with ASD, 104 with other developmental delays, and 209 were controls with typical development. The researchers examined fetal ultrasound screenshots from the participants. They looked at number and timing of scans, duration of exposure, mean (average) strength (depth, frame rate, mechanical index, and thermal index), and time of Doppler and three- and four-dimensional imaging. Overall, children with ASD had fewer ultrasound examinations during the first trimester compared to the control group; an average of 5.9 and 6.1 scans, respectively. Moreover, while the there was a statistically significant association between ASD and greater mean depth of ultrasound penetration compared to the control group, the researchers found no association between the number or the duration of the ultrasounds and future development of ASD. “The association we found between the depth of ultrasound and ASD does not mean that ultrasounds cause autism; rather, it highlights the need for more research on how this type of exposure may impact fetal development,” says Rosman. SPH co-authors included Gheorghe Doros, professor of biostatistics, and students James DoRosa and Allison Forman. Authors from MED included pediatrician Sherry Santiago and students Audrey Di Mauro and Rachel Vassar. ————— Sources: The study was published in JAMA Pediatrics. https://jamanetwork.com/journa... Ultrasound Exposure Unlikely to Cause Autism. https://www.bu.edu/sph/news/ar... Continued Reading: Critics jump on ultrasound and autism connection. https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/12... Expert Reaction to Prenatal Ultrasonography Association with Autism https://www.sciencemediacentre...
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7/29/2023
What is a sonohysterogram (SIS)?
A Saline Infusion Sonohysterogram (SIS) is a special kind of ultrasound that lets your healthcare provider look inside your uterus and uterine lining for problems that may be causing unwanted symptoms like bleeding and infertility.  SIS is less invasive than surgical procedures such as hysteroscopy and does a better job providing detailed views of structures inside your uterus than standard imaging. Why would someone need a sonohysterogram (SIS)? Your provider may ask you to get a SIS if these symptoms exist: Your periods are heavier or longer-lasting than is typical.You have vaginal bleeding in between periods.You’ve had a polyp suspected on prior sonogram.You’ve been unable to get pregnant.You’ve had two or more miscarriages. A sonohysterogram can reveal these types of structures and conditions: Polyps.Fibroids.Atypical uterus shape.Signs of endometrial cancer. How do I prepare for a sonohysterogram? There are time frames and general restrictions on when the imaging can be scheduled and performed.  Your care provider will help to be sure the time is right for the procedure.
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7/15/2023
What does a kidney ultrasound show?
The kidneys primary function is to remove a type of waste called urea from the blood. Ureas is produced when foods containing protien — meat, poultry, and certain vegetables — are broken down in the body. Urea, together with water and other waste substances, form urine. A kidney ultrasound may be used to assess the size, location, and shape of the kidneys and related structures ureters and bladder. The Ultrasound can detect cysts, tumors, abscesses, obstruction, fluid collection, and infections. Kidney stones — calculi of the kidneys and ureters — can also be detected. An ultrasound of the kidneys may also be performed to assist in obtaining tissue samples, to place draining tubes, and even to determine blood flood through the renal arteries and veins. In general, an ultrasound is an easy, non-invasive, painless proceedure. The kidney ultrasound doesn't require any specific preparation such as fasting or sedation. Drinking clear fluids at least one hour before the appointment and restrict emptying the bladder are sufficient preparation.
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6/27/2023
What is a fetal wellbeing test and why do I need one?
A Fetal Wellbeing, Biophysical Profile, or BPP Ultrasound measures the health of your baby during your pregnancy. The BPP checks your baby’s heart rate, muscle tone, movement, and breathing. It also measures the amount of amniotic fluid around your baby. Looking at these five areas helps your doctor know how well your baby is doing. A biophysical profile is often done if there is a concern about your baby’s health. For instance, it might be done if there is decreased fetal movement or a fetal growth problem, or your pregnancy goes past 42 weeks. But if your healthcare provider suggests a biophysical profile, it doesn’t mean anything is wrong with your baby. Your provider may have other reasons to recommend a biophysical profile. Read more →
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6/21/2023
What is the difference between a sonogram and an ultrasound?
An ultrasound and a sonogram are related, though they are different. Ultrasound is a type of medical imaging that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of internal organs and structures in the body. An ultrasound machine emits sound waves that bounce off the tissues and organs inside the body, creating echoes that are recorded and processed into images. Ultrasound imaging can visualize the structure and function of various organs, such as the heart, liver, kidneys, and reproductive organs. On the other hand, a sonogram is the resulting image produced by ultrasound. It visually represents the internal structures imaged with the ultrasound machine. The term "sonogram" is often used interchangeably with "ultrasound," but technically, a sonogram is the resulting image or picture, while an ultrasound is the actual procedure that produces the image.
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