Ultrasound 'Eye' Scans Organs from Within
Gibbons, Wendy, Science News
Ultrasound 'eye' scans organs from within
A pinhead-sized ultrasound device, threaded through body passages with a catheter, prvides inside views of anatomic cavities, depicting these hard-to-image regions in two and three dimensions, reports radiologist Barry B. Goldberg.
Using a television screen, Goldberg displayed his preliminary 3-D images publicly for the first time last week at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.
The tiny ultrasound transducer, initially developed for detecting plaque buildup inside arteries, could help reveal abnormalities within a variety of passageways such as the ureter, fallopian tubes and bile ducts, Goldberg suggests. These inner recesses are difficult to picture with conventional ultrasound techniques, which use much larger transducers and which view body tissues from the outside looking in, he says.
"We see beyond the [tissue] surface," Goldberg says. "We are able to picture abnormalities that before were very difficult to see by any other methods."
In the January AMERICAN JOURNAL OF RADIOLOGY, he ad his co-workers at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia reported using the novel device to obtain 2-D images from the inside of the ureter, the tube linking the bladder and kidneys. The images, they say, pinpointed nearby problem areas -- including kidney stones and a blood vessel pressing on the ureter -- not seen during examinations with an endoscope, an optical instrument that provides surface views when inserted into body passages. …