The potential for ultrasonic imaging of objects, with a 3 GHZ sound wave producing resolution comparable to an optical image, was recognized by Sokolov in 1939 but techniques of the time produced relatively low-contrast images with poor sensitivity. Ultrasonic imaging uses frequencies of 2 megahertz and higher; the shorter wavelength allows resolution of small internal details in structures and tissues. The power density is generally less than 1 watt per square centimetre, to avoid heating and cavitation effects in the object under examination. High and ultra high ultrasound waves are used in acoustic microscopy, with frequencies up to 4 gigahertz. Ultrasonic imaging applications include industrial non-destructive testing, quality control and medical uses.Diagnostic sonography (ultrasonography) is an ultrasound-based diagnostic imaging technique used for visualizing subcutaneous body structures including tendons, muscles, joints, vessels and internal organs for possible pathology or lesions. Obstetric sonography is commonly used during pregnancy and is widely recognized by the public. In physics, the term "ultrasound" applies to all sound waves with a frequency above the audible range of normal human hearing, about 20 kHz. The frequencies used in diagnostic ultrasound are typically between 2 and 18 MHz.Typical diagnostic sonographic scanners operate in the frequency range of 2 to 18 megahertz, though frequencies up to 50Ц100 megahertz have been used experimentally in a technique known as biomicroscopy in special regions, such as the anterior chamber of the eye. The choice of frequency is a trade-off between spatial resolution of the image and imaging depth: lower frequencies produce les
resolution but image deeper into the body. Higher frequency sound waves have a smaller wavelength and thus are capable of reflecting or scattering from smaller structures. Higher frequency sound waves also have a larger attenuation coefficient and thus are more readily absorbed in tissue, limiting the depth of penetration of the sound wave into the body. Sonography (ultrasonography) is widely used in medicine. It is possible to perform both diagnosis and therapeutic procedures, using ultrasound to guide interventional procedures (for instance biopsies or drainage of fluid collections). Sonographers are medical professionals who perform scans which are then typically interpreted by radiologists, physicians who specialize in the application and interpretation of a wide variety of medical imaging modalities, or by cardiologists in the case of cardiac ultrasonography (echocardiography). Sonographers typically use a hand-held probe (called a transducer) that is placed directly on and moved over the patient. Increasingly, clinicians (physicians and other healthcare professionals who provide direct patient care) are using ultrasound in their office and hospital practices, for efficient, low-cost, dynamic diagnostic imaging that facilitates treatment planning while avoiding any radiation exposure. Sonography is effective for imaging soft tissues of the body. Superficial structures such as muscles, tendons, testes, breast, thyroid and parathyroid glands, and the neonatal brain are imaged at a higher frequency (7Ц18 MHz), which provides better axial and lateral resolution. Deeper structures such as liver and kidney are imaged at a lower frequency 1Ц6 MHz with lower axial and lateral resolution but greater penetration.