TABLE 2952 Examples of Specialized Applications for Emergency Department Ultrasound

Color Doppler technology provides information on blood-flow characteristics of vascular structures by superimposing colors over the normal gray-scale image. The displayed colors, which range from red to blue, indicate the direction of blood flow relative to the transducer. While this technology is helpful in identifying vascular structures, it is not necessary for any of the primary ED applications of ultrasound.

An important limitation of ultrasound is that even small amounts of air (e.g., in bowel loops and pneumoperitoneum) preclude effective visualization distal to the gas. Bone, too, is poorly imaged by ultrasound (compared to plain x-ray), and finding appropriate acoustic windows that avoid these problems is one of the skills required of the emergency sonologist.

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