2D Ultrasound vs 3D Ultrasound

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What is Ultrasound?

  • Ultrasound is an imaging method used to visualize soft tissue structures within the body, which includes muscles, glands, vessels, organs, etc.
  • The most well known use for ultrasound is during pregnancy to visualize the unborn fetus.
  • Ultrasound technology works by sending out high frequency sound waves which pass through the body and are reflected back. The reflected back echoes are then analyzed and built into a picture of the visualized body part.
  • Ultrasound uses sound waves are not radiation, so therefore it is considered extremely safe.
  • Ultrasound technology has been utilized for over 30 years. Ultrasound technology is useful in obstetrics, gynecology, orthopedics, internal medicine, emergency medicine, cardiology, and many other fields of medicine.

What is the difference between 2-Dimensional (2D) ultrasound and 3-Dimensional (3D) ultrasound?

  • Most ultrasound machines used today are conventional 2D ultrasound machines.
  • They are now offering more advanced 3D and 4D ultrasound technology.
  • 2D ultrasound sends out the sound wave in one direction and the echo returns in one direction. The 2D ultrasound shows everything in 2 dimensions on one plane, sagittal, and transverse.
  • 3D ultrasound sends out sound waves in multiple different angles and the echoes return in multiple different angles. The 3D ultrasound introduces a second plane with the addition of a third dimension, sagittal, transverse and coronal. There is no coronal view in 2D ultrasound.
  • 4D ultrasound is 3D ultrasound in motion. The fourth dimension added is that of time.