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- What is an ultrasound?
- What is ultrasonography?
- For what purposes are ultrasounds used?
- Diagnostic uses
- Screening uses
- Therapeutic uses
- What are the risks of ultrasound?
- How do patients prepare for an ultrasound?
- How are the results of ultrasound interpreted and communicated to the physician?
How are the results of ultrasound interpreted and communicated to the physician?
The ultrasound is generally performed by a technician. The technician will notice preliminary structures and may point out several of these structures during the examination. The official reading of the ultrasound is done by a radiologist, a physician who is an expert at interpreting ultrasound images. The radiologist records the interpretation and transmits it to the practitioner requesting the test. Occasionally, during the ultrasound test the radiologist will ask questions of the patient and/or perform an examination in order to further define the purpose for which the test is ordered, or to clarify preliminary findings.
Plain x-rays might be ordered to further evaluate early findings.
A summary of results of all of the above is reported to the health care practitioner who requested the ultrasound. They are then discussed with the patient in the context of the patient's overall health status.
Medically reviewed by a Board Certified Family Practice Physician
Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia
National Institutes of Health