Ultrasound, also called sonography, is a non-invasive technique used to capture internal images of the body. Ultrasound does not use radiation like X-rays or CT scans; it relies on high-frequency sound waves.
General scan—Liver, gall bladder, kidneys, urinary bladder, stomach, intestines, abdominal (mesentery) lymph nodes, pancreas, adrenal glands, ovaries/uterus, prostate.
Specific scans—tumors, pregnancy check, bladder stones, pancreatitis, blood clots, intestinal diseases (thickening, intussecption, possibly foreign bodies), kidney infection, adrenal enlargement, pyometra, prostate cysts or infection
Special procedures—fine needle aspirate, biopsy, color doppler blood flow analysis
Thoracic ultrasound (echocardiography)
General scan—heart—size of chambers, thickness of chamber walls, valve shape, function and thickness, fluid around heart (if any), presence or absence of clots or tumors
a. M-mode—one-dimensional line of sound pulses, used for chamber and wall measurements
b. B-mode—two dimensional sweep of pulses, used for anatomic structure
Specific scans—pneumonia, fluid inside or outside lungs, lung lobe collapse, lymph nodes, lung tumors or abscesses, diaphragmatic hernia
Color doppler—use to determine if flow of blood is turbulent or not. Turbulence is seen with valve problems (such as mitral insufficiency), the most common form of heart failure. It is also seen with uncommon congenital heart diseases such as stenoses or other defects.
Special procedures—fine needle aspirate, pericardiocentesis (removal of fluid from around heart), thoracocentesis
Eye—Look for retinal diseases, tumors in or behind the eye, bleeding, lens problems, foreign bodies
Neck—look at blood flow, thyroid and parathyroid glands, lymph nodes, salivary glands, look for tumors or foreign bodies
Testes—for infertility, testicular masses, torsion, infection, abdominal scan for cryptorchid
Skin/subcutaneous/muscles—cellulitis, abscesses, foreign bodies, tumors, tendonitis, joint fluid, abdominal wall hernias