The History of Ultrasounds

ULTRASONOGRAPHYYou know that as one of the first tests they perform when you or your significant other find out that you are expecting, an ultrasound can give you the peace of mind to feel calm. Among being able to detect a baby’s heart rate, growth, and overall health, ultrasounds are also used throughout the body. As a procedure that we are so familiar with, it’s hard to imagine what our lives would be like if it didn’t exist. To help you better understand ultrasounds, we have created an article discussing a brief history of this examination tool. Read on to learn more.

First Things First

Dating all the way back to 1794, the basis of ultrasound physics was first founded by physiologist Lazzaro Spallanzani while he was studying bats. Over 80 years later, brothers Pierre and Jacques Curie discovered piezoelectricity, a concept that allows ultrasound probes to emit and receive sound waves.

The Beginning (of an Iceberg)

As one of the America’s favorite stories, the Titanic helped unite more than just Jack and Rose. In fact, after the Titanic sank, physicist Paul Langevin was commissioned to create a device that detected objects at the bottom of the sea. Referred to as “The first transducer,” Langevin created the hydrophone to help with his under the sea searches.

Throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s, ultrasound equipment was introduced into the medical field to help detect a variety of things including gallstones and breast tumors. It wasn’t until 1958, however, that ultrasounds were introduced into the OB/GYN field to help detect fetal movement.

The Middle (of Tokyo)

It wasn’t until 1986 that Kazunori Baba of the University of Tokyo developed 3D ultrasound technology that was able to capture images of a fetus. With the advancement of 3D technology came 4D technology, and the ability to perform ultrasound guided biopsies.

The End (or Just the Beginning)

When it comes to ultrasound technology, there isn’t an “End” or stopping point. In fact, ultrasound technology is even evolving all the way into space giving NASA the ability to perform ultrasounds from above the earth’s orbit.

Here at UTMB Radiology, we are always striving to keep our patients informed on the latest technologies in the ultrasound and radiology industry. If you would like to learn more about ultrasound technology, contact UTMB Radiology today!



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