How does 3D/4D ultrasound imaging actually work?

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Pregnancy Ultrasound

How does 3D/4D ultrasound imaging actually work?

Modern Ultrasound probes have evolved and are now a marvel of engineering. Modern Matrix transducers have an array of sensors layed out in a 2D pad. This allows for electronic beam steering both during the transmit and recieve cycles. Because the probe can transmit ultrasound throughout a 3D sector it is possible for the ultrasound system to apply shading and reconstruct a 3D represenation of the organ or faetus with no moving parts.

An example of a matrix probe used in the cardiac field is the Philips X7-2t Transesophogeal probe. This probe has approximately 2500 elements in a matrix array and can perform 4D (Real time 3D) imaging of a beating heart. The image below shows the tip of the X7-2 Transducer containing this high tech sensor array.

Whilst matrix probes are gaining popularity, the majority of 3D transducers in use today still employ mechanical systems. The mechanical system uses a motor to steer a line array throughout an arc. The following image shows the internals of a typical 3D imaging transducer.

Due to the complexity of the system, both matrix arrays and mechanical 3D probes are very delecate and sensitive devices and deserve the highest level of care and respect. It is important with any ultrasound transducer to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for use, visual inspections and electrical leakage testing. This helps to ensure patient safety, with the biggest risks being cross contamination, electrical shock and misdiagnosis.

Stay tuned for our next newsletter for some guidelines we recommend when checking your transducer. Following these recommendations aswell as any recommendations from the manufacturer will help to reduce costs by diagnosing and repairing faults before they turn into major repairs.

For all your ultrasound needs contact ProbeLogic today! – – 1300 611 503

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