The ultrasound examination is a non-invasive, harmless diagnostic method that does not burden the patient. Internal medicine, endocrinology, urology, gynecology, joint and vascular disorders may be diagnosed with the help of ultrasound examinations, even before the symptoms develop, meaning it is also suitable for screening.
Examination of the organs of the abdomen and pelvis are performed during an abdominal ultrasound: the liver, the gallbladder, the pancreas, the spleen and the kidneys, the bladder, and, in case of women, the uterus, ovaries, and, in men, the prostate. The abdominal large vessels and lymph nodes are also examined. The examination is recommended as an annual screening test, but it is among the first examinations performed in case of abdominal pain and symptoms. The examination safely detects enlargements and structural abnormalities of the organs listed above, liver cysts and other benign liver lesions, gall stones and gall bladder polyps, kidney stones, kidney cysts, ovary cysts, uterus myomas, and prostate hypertrophy. Ultrasound can also be used to diagnose neoplasms of the abdominal organs, liver metastases, abdominal fluid or pus, and bleeding. The patient should not eat for 6 hours before the abdominal and pelvic ultrasound examination, and should only drink water without gas. A full bladder is needed to assess the pelvic organs.
The anatomy, wall structure, and flow of the cervical arteries can be assessed by Color-Doppler ultrasound examinations. The location, structure, and size of intraluminal calcifications and the consequently developed stenosis may be examined. Screening ultrasound examinations of the cervical arteries are recommended in patients with hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, or who smoke.
The size of the thyroid gland lobes can be measured and their structure and vascularization can be assessed during the examination. The ultrasound examination plays an important role in the diagnostics and follow-up of any thyroid gland nodules, cysts, or inflammatory diseases. Enlarged parathyroid glands, large salivary glands, and the cervical lymph nodes are also examined. Salivary gland stones, salivary gland inflammation, benign and malignant neoplasms of the cervical soft tissues, inflamed lymph nodes may be diagnosed.
Ultrasound examination of the venous circulation is recommended to rule out deep vein thrombosis in case of leg oedemas, skin tightening, or rapidly-developed permanent pain on one side or that has been present for a longer time, or if the leg is discolored red or blue. Severe complications of thrombosis include pulmonary embolism and pulmonary infarction. Venous valve function, the inflammation of superficial veins, and varicosity can be evaluated with ultrasound examination.
An ultrasound examination is the ideal method to diagnose inflammation, neoplasms, and arterial and venous circulatory problems of the testicles, since it is completely painless. Abnormalities of the epididymis (cysts, inflammation), the interior of the scrotum (collection of fluid, hernia), and its vessels (varicosity) can also be detected.
The ultrasound examination of the joint ligaments, tendons, fibrous cartilage, abnormal collection of fluid, and the surrounding muscles.
The tendons of muscles involved in arm movements are examined during the examination of the shoulders. Calcification around the joint, any injury of the muscles and tendons, rotator cuff tear, and joint inflammation can be diagnosed. In the knee, the structural abnormalities and injuries of the menisci, the joint capsule, the ligaments and tendons, and tendon insertion points are detected. Any abnormal collection of fluid, thickening of the synovial membrane, the abnormal collection of fluid in the popliteal area (Baker’s cyst) can be accurately measured.
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