History Of Ultrasound – Inventor & Advancements
The history of ultrasound began with SONAR (Sound Navigation and 00004000 Ranging) for submarines and has had many uses with varying degrees of success since then.
Ultrasound history, medically speaking, has been primarily a diagnostic technology although it has been tested and used for therapy as well. Doctors and sonographers have been capturing images from within the human body since the 1940’s and in spite of its varied history, ultrasound has become one of the most widely used medical diagnostic tools in modern medicine.
- When was ultrasound testing invented? 1826.
- Who invented ultrasound? Swiss physicist, Jean-Daniel Colladon.
- How was ultrasound discovered? Colladon used an underwater bell to determine the speed of sound in the water.
- How did ultrasound progress to what is in 2010?
- Many studied sound vibrations (waves), transmission, propagation, and refraction throughout the 1800’s.
- English Lord Rayleigh published in 1877 “the Theory of Sound” & first described a sound wave as a mathematical equation, forming the basis of future practical work in acoustics.
- Italian biologist, Lazzaro Spallanzani, in 1794 demonstrated the ability of bats to navigate accurately in the dark via echo reflections from high frequency inaudible sound or ‘ultrasound’.
- High frequency sound waves (above the limit of human hearing) were generated by English scientist Francis Galton in 1876, through the Galton whistle, which was his invention.
- Austrian physicist Christian Doppler and Buys Ballot in 1845 proved the Doppler Effect on sound waves: A sound’s pitch would change if its source or recipient was in motion. This was a very significant change to the future of ultrasound.
- It was discovered in Paris, France in 1880 by Pierre Curie and his brother Jacques Curie, that electric potential would be produced when mechanical pressure was exerted on a quartz crystal.
- The opposite of which was mathematically deduced from thermodynamic principles by physicist Gabriel Lippman in 1881. The generation and reception of ‘ultrasound’ was now possible.
- Underwater sonar detection systems were developed for the purpose of underwater navigation by submarines in World war I.
- The first working sonar system was designed and built in the United States by Canadian Reginald Fessenden in 1914. This system was able to detect an iceberg underwater from 2 miles away. Powerful electronic amplifications were necessary for developments in ultrasonic instruments:
- French physicist Paul LangAvin and Russian scientist Constantin Chilowsky developed an ultrasonic echo-sounding device called the ‘hydrophone’, the basis of the development of naval pulse-echo sonar.
- Discoveries and developments parallel to echo sound, such as electro-magnetic RADAR;
- ENIAC, the first digital computer;
- and the point-contact transistor.
- In the Medical field, the heating and disruptive effects of ultrasound were applied to therapy, also as a neuro-surgical tool, before being used in the 1940’s for diagnosis.
- Karl Theo Dussik, a neurologist/psychiatrist at the University of Vienna, Austria, and his brother Friederich, a physicist, first employed ultrasound in medical diagnosis by attempting to locate brain tumors by sending an ultrasound beam through the skull which produced an A-mode image. The amplitudes seen on the image showed both sides of the skull and the midline of the brain. If a midline shift was seen, a conclusion was made that there was either a tumor or a bleed. The “image” was recorded photographically on heat-sensitive paper.
Frequently Asked Questions
Has anyone had fibroids that hid the ultrasound image of the fetus?
I’ve had 2 miscarriages already, so I was all ready to accept that at 9 weeks, with no fetus visible on ultrasound that I was sure to be told the to expect a third miscarriage. But my doctor said that even though the yolk sac was empty, it was possible that large fibroids could be obscuring the image of the fetus. Somehow. I don’t know. Now I have to wait another week for another image. He didn’t think taking more HCG levels would help clear things up. I’m really frustrated with this roller coaster ride. I had high HCG levels in the beginning and I feel very pregnant. But that doesn’t count for much, I suppose. I saw the scan and it looked like a black empty oval.
I had lot of fibroids inside my uterus and I had a surgery to remove them. After 22 months of that surgery I got pregnant but at the same time the fibroids grew again, even bigger in size. Now I’m 24 weeks pregnant. I’m not having a lot of problem other then a huge tummy and some minor uncomfortableness.
Doctors tried to detect my pregnancy through ultrasound when I was 6 weeks pregnant but she couldn’t see anything other then fibroids. She also tried vaginal ultrasound, still she could see nothing. The fibroids were so big that the hid the tiny yolk. She gave me blood test to be confirmed about the pregnancy and told me to wait 2 more weeks to get the yolk picture.
After 2 weeks doctors could see the yolk at the upper side of the uterus, the lower part of the uterus was full of fibroids.
I’m too careful about the pregnancy as its really risky. I’m hoping that I can give birth of the baby without any big problem. I don’t know yet what the doctor is going to do with my uterus when I’ll have the surgery to give birth of the baby.
Is it possible for something such as a tumor or fibroid to be mistaken as a fetus?
Obviously modern medical technology allows us many options when it comes to the screening of such things. I was wondering however, if in recent history, even with the advent of Ultrasound and other imaging technologies, if there have been pregnant women with something along the lines of uterine cancer or fibroids who have instead been deemed pregnant by their physicians. It’s a bizarre question, I know. Any help or anecdotes would be greatly appreciated!
What was your experience having a D&C?
I am 23 years old and really freaking out about having a d&c and hysteroscopy. (for heavy bleeding nd fibroids) I had a sonohystogram and a ultrasound and it was the most painful experience of my life. I refuse to do it again. My Dr. keeps calling me and having me do more blood work, this last time I came in she mentioned that she had gotten mt imaging and since the office was empty decided to mention a few things. I had some fibroids, but also that there was “stuff” floating in my uterus that had the dr.s all confused and they didn’t know what it was, suggesting “maybe clots?” Wow,really comforting… lol. Then she mention that I need a D&C and scope. She said I’ll be able to be knocked out, which I’m also scared about. Has anyone had this done? Can anyone give me the details? Even if it’s bad I would like to at least know ahead of time!! Thanks so much.
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