Ultrasound waves cannot be heard by the human ear. Sound has wave properties, and ultrasound diagnostic equipment uses ultrasound waves, to produce images of the inside of the body. Ultrasound waves are transmitted inside the body, and the waves reflected back by organs and tissues (echoes) are received and used to create images based on this information.
Diagnostic ultrasound system comprises four main components: a transducer, monitor, operating panel and processing unit.
The transducer is responsible for transmitting and receiving ultrasound waves and is a key component that determines the image quality of diagnostic ultrasound system. The transducer transmits ultrasound waves toward the area to be examined. The waves reflected back by organs and tissues must be accurately received. Transducers that are optimal for examining certain areas have been developed and can be used depending on the intended purpose.
The operating panel is equipped with buttons and a trackball to adjust image brightness, contrast enhancement and other attributes. It is used to select other features such as a side-by-side comparison of current and previous images and a display of images over time. The processing unit is the “brain” that processes and converts the ultrasound signals received by the transducer into images. It is also responsible for recording images on processing unit.
How Reflected Sound is Converted into Images
As ultrasound waves travel through the body, some are reflected by the borders of organs and tissues and others pass through. Ultrasound diagnostic system leverages those properties by receiving ultrasound waves that are reflected back and using that information to create images. Areas that do not reflect ultrasound waves appear as black on images. Conversely, areas that reflect waves appear as bright (white), creating an image of the inside of the body. The inside of the body can be imaged in real time. Since ultrasound is harmless to the human body and it causes no side effects, it can be performed repeatedly.