Basic Overview3D Ultrasound’s are newer three-dimensional pictures of the fetus taken during pregnancy. These ultrasounds intrigue people because they allow you to get a glimpse of what your baby looks like in the womb. These types of ultrasounds are so fun and amazing because you can capture your baby’s different movements such as sucking a thumb, yawning, or just sleeping away!
FunctionHow exactly do 3D ultrasounds work? In scanning fetuses using the 3D method, sound waves are sent from different angles and then reflected back. The echoes then are processed by an elaborate computer program that turns out a three-dimensional picture of both the internal organs and surface of the fetus.
History3D ultrasounds were created back in 1987 by Stephen Smith and Olaf von Ramm (professors of biomedical engineering) at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. They developed clinical three-dimensional ultrasound scanners and since then have been adjusting and fine tuning 3D ultrasounds for various other applications.
SignificanceWhat is the significance of being able to look at a fetus through three-dimensional ultrasounds as opposed to looking at them through other traditional ultrasounds? Having three-dimensional images enables clinicians to be able to measure the shape and volume and closely observe the patients’ internal anatomy with a very precise level of detail.
BenefitsThere are benefits to 3D ultrasounds as well. Some of the advantages to 3D ultrasounds include being able to notice both cranial and facial abnormalities and being able to measure both the volume and structures of the fetus. 3D imaging enables clinicians to measure things in directions that are not available in regular 2D imaging (such as measuring the left ventricle’s volume).
ConsiderationsEven though nowadays the majority of ultrasounds are conducted in 3D, there is one drawback about 3D compared to 2D imagining. The image quality in 3D ultrasounds is slightly inferior to the quality in 2D imaging because of the focus of the transducer due to parallel processing. However, that is compensated for in a way because of the ability to be able to focus and look in three directions instead of merely two.
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