Medical sonography (ultrasonography) is an ultrasound-based diagnostic medical imaging technique used to visualize muscles, tendons, and many internal organs, to capture their size, structure and any pathological lesions with real time tomographic images. Ultrasound has been used by radiologists and sonographers to image the human body for at least 50 years and has become a widely used diagnostic tool. The technology is relatively inexpensive and portable, especially when compared with other techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT). Ultrasound is also used to visualize fetuses during routine and emergency prenatal care. Such diagnostic applications used during pregnancy are referred to as obstetric sonography. As currently applied in the medical field, properly performed ultrasound poses no known risks to the patient. Sonography does not use ionizing radiation, and the power levels used for imaging are too low to cause adverse heating or pressure effects in tissue. Although the long term effects due to ultrasound exposure at diagnostic intensity are still unknown, currently most doctors feel that the benefits to patients outweigh the risks. The ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle has been advocated for an ultrasound examination — that is, keeping the scanning time and power settings as low as possible but consistent with diagnostic imaging — and that by that principle non-medical uses, which by definition are not necessary, are actively discouraged. Ultrasound is also increasingly being used in trauma and first aid cases, with emergency ultrasound becoming a staple of most EMT response teams. Furthermore, ultrasound is used in remote diagnosis cases where teleconsultation is required, such as scientific experiments in space or mobile sports team diagnosis. According to RadiologyInfo, ultrasounds are useful in the detection of pelvic abnormalities and can involve techniques known as abdominal (transabdominal) ultrasound, vaginal (transvaginal or endovaginal) ultrasound in women, and also rectal (transrectal) ultrasound in men.Medical imaging is the technique and process used to create images of the human body (or parts and function thereof) for clinical purposes (medical procedures seeking to reveal, diagnose, or examine disease) or medical science (including the study of normal anatomy and physiology). Although imaging of removed organs and tissues can be performed for medical reasons, such procedures are not usually referred to as medical imagin
, but rather are a part of pathology. As a discipline and in its widest sense, it is part of biological imaging and incorporates radiology (in the wider sense), nuclear medicine, investigative radiological sciences, endoscopy, (medical) thermography, medical photography, and microscopy (e.g. for human pathological investigations). A majority of diagnostic imaging centers are located in California, followed by Texas and Florida. Measurement and recording techniques which are not primarily designed to produce images, such as electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), electrocardiography (EKG), and others, but which produce data susceptible to be represented as maps (i.e., containing positional information), can be seen as forms of medical imaging. Up until 2010, 5 billion medical imaging studies had been conducted worldwide. Radiation exposure from medical imaging in 2006 made up about 50% of total ionizing radiation exposure in the United States. In the clinical context, "invisible light" medical imaging is generally equated to radiology or "clinical imaging" and the medical practitioner responsible for interpreting (and sometimes acquiring) the images is a radiologist. "Visible light" medical imaging involves digital video or still pictures that can be seen without special equipment. Dermatology and wound care are two modalities that utilize visible light imagery. Diagnostic radiography designates the technical aspects of medical imaging and in particular the acquisition of medical images. The radiographer or radiologic technologist is usually responsible for acquiring medical images of diagnostic quality, although some radiological interventions are performed by radiologists. While radiology is an evaluation of anatomy, nuclear medicine provides functional assessment. As a field of scientific investigation, medical imaging constitutes a sub-discipline of biomedical engineering, medical physics or medicine depending on the context: Research and development in the area of instrumentation, image acquisition (e.g. radiography), modeling and quantification are usually the preserve of biomedical engineering, medical physics, and computer science; Research into the application and interpretation of medical images is usually the preserve of radiology and the medical sub-discipline relevant to medical condition or area of medical science (neuroscience, cardiology, psychiatry, psychology, etc.) under investigation. Many of the techniques developed for medical imaging also have scientific and industrial applications.