Diagnostic medical sonograms, also referred to as an ultrasound exam, has experienced exceptional growth over the last 30 years. This growth can be attributed to unique characteristics of ultrasound imaging that are clear benefits over other imaging modalities in diagnosing and monitoring the progression of disease. Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a sophisticated imaging modality that utilizeshigh frequency sound waves, not ionizing radiation, to evaluate structures within the body. Unlike Computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) where static cross sectional images are obtained for interpretation; sonography exams are dynamic, meaning that internal structures can be observed in motion. This is especially important when evaluating the heart for contractibility and valve function or determining viability of a fetus during an obstetric sonogram by observing motion.
Sonography equipment comes in many different sizes, from small hand held devices to full size stand alone units, regardless of the size of the ultrasound unit, all the equipment is portable. Portability of equipment gives ultrasound the ability to perform bedside exams on critically ill patients, assist physicians in the operating room (OR), labor and delivery (L&D), and emergency department (ED). Ultrasound exams can be performed virtually anywhere there is a need; because there is no ionizing radiation utilized to obtain diagnostic images, the exam room does not need to modified with lead lined walls. Couple this fact with the much lower cost of an ultrasound unit compared to a CT or MRI unit, leads to another benefit of sonography: the overall cost to perform sonographic exams is much lower than for CT or MRI exams.
Ultrasound imaging can be used to assess abdominal and pelvic organs in both the adult and pediatric patient, musculoskeletal structures, managing obstetric care and monitoring fetal well being, and superficial structures such breast, thyroid, and eye.
This poster will highlight how diagnostic medical sonography can be utilized to evaluate and monitor patients with selected neglected tropical diseases (NTD) and non communicable diseases (NCD).