Review of Safety of Diagnostic Ultrasound in Medical Practice
In Nigeria, there is a dearth of scientific literature about the safety of ultrasound as a diagnostic modality. Because of its low cost, real-time image display and lack of evidence of bio-effects, ultrasound is a fast growing imaging modality. The impact of ultrasound in the care of women and children is most obvious. Information was sourced from journal articles, internet yahoo/google search, medline/pubmed search and personal experience of the authors. Several parameters for the measurement of safety of diagnostic ultrasound machines, thermal and mechanical indices, were defined. The potential bio-effects (thermal and non-thermal effects), principle of ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) were described. Nowadays almost every pregnant woman will have routine antenatal ultrasound. The trend of increasing use of ultrasound also happens in other specialties. There is therefore a need for information about the potential bio-effects of ultrasound.