RisksBy Mayo Clinic staff
Diagnostic ultrasound is a safe procedure that uses low-power sound waves. There are no direct risks from a diagnostic ultrasound exam.
Although ultrasound is a valuable tool, it does have its limitations. Sound doesn't travel well through air or bone, so ultrasound isn't effective at imaging parts of your body that have gas in them or that are obscured by bone. Rather than using ultrasound to view these areas, your doctor may instead order other imaging tests, such as CT or MRI scans, or X-rays.
- Cosgrove DO, et al. Ultrasound: General principles. In: Adam A, et al. Grainger & Allison's Diagnostic Radiology: A Textbook of Medical Imaging. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookPage&isbn=978-0-443-10163-2&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-10163-2..50006-3. Accessed Jan. 12, 2012.
- A close look at ultrasound. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm181011.htm. Accessed Jan. 12, 2012.
- General ultrasound imaging. RadiologyInfo.org. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=genus. Accessed Jan. 12, 2012.
- Important questions to ask about the quality of your imaging examination. American College of Radiology. http://www.acr.org/MainMenuCategories/PatientInfo/ImportantQuestions.aspx. Accessed Jan. 12, 2012.