The 6 Types of Ultrasounds

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While all ultrasounds work in virtually the same way, there are actually some major differences between the six different ultrasound types. In this article, we will take a look at the different types of ultrasounds.

Doppler Ultrasounds

Doppler ultrasounds are used to measure both the direction and the speed of blood cells while they move through the arteries and veins in the body. These images can help a doctor find problems with blood flow, as well as congenital malformations. It is becoming increasingly used in obstetrics to help assess and monitor the well being of the fetus as well as in fetal heart rate detectors.

Obstetric Ultrasounds

These noninvasive ultrasounds are a cost effective way of examining the uterus, ovaries, and fetus. While often used for confirming early pregnancies and for monitoring fetal size, age, and weight, they are also used in cases of vaginal bleeding as well as to find or diagnose problems with the ovaries, uterus, or fallopian tubes.

3D and 4D Ultrasounds

3D ultrasounds provide a static 3D image of the fetus or whatever is being scanned, while a 4D ultrasound can also record movement of a 3D fetus or body part. 4D ultrasounds allow 3D images to be seen in motion, allowing them to show a baby’s movements even before it is born. While these ultrasounds are not yet ready to replace traditional 2D scans as diagnostic tools, there is certainly much hope for what the future will bring for this technology.

Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound that examines the heart, the way the valves function, and the way blood flows through the heart. It can also determine how much blood is pumping through the heart and examine the motion of the heart walls. There are numerous different types of echocardiogram, but all are used for monitoring the function and movement of the heart.

Carotid Ultrasound

The last type of ultrasound is the carotid ultrasound. These ultrasounds are conducted in order to view the carotid arteries found on each side of a person’s neck. These arteries are responsible for supplying the brain with blood. These ultrasounds are often performed after a transient ischemic attack or a stroke.

As you can see, there are many different types of ultrasounds. Your doctor will know which one is best for your specific case and needs. Ultrasounds are incredibly safe and can be very critical diagnostic tools, especially for OB/GYNs.