Medical imaging technology is changing by the minute. It’s hard to keep up with the kinds of ultrasound images you can achieve with 2D, 3D, 4D and 5D ultrasound.
The traditional “standard” in ultrasound is 2D or two-dimensional monochrome sonography. They are the most widely used among health practitioners. It’s ideal for pregnancy scanning, providing images of a fetus’s soft tissues, organs and other internal anatomy. Flat black-and-white images are create with an ultrasound transducer that’s covered with gel and placed directly on the skin. The images are created by high-frequency sound waves. All ultrasound machines currently on the market can create 2D images. These include the Siemens Acuson X150 and GE Voluson S6.
3D Ultrasound machines use a more advanced technology than 2D and require less time. Three-dimensional images of a fetus or heart can be created, and the images are more detailed than those of a 2D ultrasound machine. The images are created by reflected waves and angles that differ from one another. The images are orange and golden-colored. A 3D image is created when image information is integrated into high-speed computing software. Samsung WS80A, Samsung HS60, GE Voluson E10, GE Voluson E8 and GE Voluson E6 are highly rated 3D imaging machines. If a 3D machine is used in cardiology, it has to have a specific application and come with a 3D/4D volumetric cardiac probe or a 3D TEE probe.
While 4D ultrasound machines are similar to 3D ultrasound machines, they create images that are constantly updated for “live stream” of the 3D image. 4D ultrasound is used to watch babies in live motion and to discover structural congenital anomalies of a fetus, like a cleft lip, heart defect, skeletal problems are neural abnormalities. The images can be recorded and made available for the patients or parents. 3D and 4D images are very popular with future parents as the images provide a better view of their baby. 4D ultrasound can also be used in cardiology to examine the heart from different angles, to see valves, heart wall or blood flow in various vessels. Because the images are so clear, practitioners can spend less time on standard plane visualization. Not all ultrasound machines can create 4D images. Samsung WS80A, Samsung HS60, GE Voluson E10, GE Voluson E8 and GE Voluson E6 are solid 4D ultrasound machine options.
5D Ultrasound is HD and HD Live, which captures clearer, sharper images. The technology focuses on workflow and automation. 5D ultrasound images are of higher quality and gives the baby a life-like flesh tone color. The medical facts of a fetus are clearer, thanks to the higher quality images. 5D imaging is not currently common, but machines like the Samsung WS80A with Elite can be found in OB/GYN.
Talk To An Expert
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Meet the author: Vikki Harmonay