Ultrasound: Past, Present and Future
Ultrasound has been used as a diagnostic tool for more than 40 years. Many medical applications have been found, mostly notably in obstetrics and cardiology. It had a humble beginning, started by a few curious scientists and clinicians in different parts of the world in early 1950s and did not become an established diagnostic tool until early 1970s when grey scale ultrasonography was introduced. Modern ultrasound scanners are capable of producing images of anatomical structures in great detail in grey scale and of blood flow in a color scale in real-time. State of the art 4D scanners yielding 3D volumetric images in real-time are pushing the technical envelope further. Today ultrasound is the second-most used clinical imaging modality next only to conventional x-ray radiography. Although ultrasound is considered to be a mature technology, technical advances are still constantly being made. The most significant achievements in ultrasound recently have been in the developments of approaches capable of quantitative measurement of tissue elastic properties, namely ultrasound elastography and radiation force imaging, high frequency imaging yielding improved spatial resolution and therapeutic applications in drug delivery and high intensity focused ultrasound surgery. In this paper, the history and current state of medical ultrasound will be reviewed and future developments discussed.
KeywordsUltrasound ultrasonic imaging color Doppler elastography radiation force imaging
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