Experimental investigations indicate that ultrasound may prove useful for therapy, for diagnosis, and for biologic measurement.
Ultrasound, although it may be dangerous in unskilled hands, is an excellent agent for the structural heating of living tissues. The term “structural heating” is used to denote heating at abrupt interfaces.The living organism presents numerous abrupt interfaces.
Ultrasound promises to become a reliable diagnostic tool. Either the transmitted or the reflected ultrasonic energy can be used in this application. Tumors, gallstones, kidney stones, stones in the salivary glands, foreign bodies, and abnormal collections of fluid have been located accurately.
Preliminary observations on the use of ultrasound for certain biologic measurements are encouraging. Instrumentation for biologic measurement includes ultrasonic flowmeters, devices for measuring thickness of some tissue structures, and equipment for measuring the viscosity of blood.