A comparison between acoustic output indices in 2D and 3D/4D ultrasound in obstetrics

E. Sheiner, R. Hackmon, I. Shoham-Vardi, X. Pombar, M. J. Hussey, H. T. Strassner, J. S. Abramowicz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    35 Scopus citations


    Objective: Three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound is gaining popularity in prenatal diagnosis. While there are no studies regarding the safety of 3D ultrasound, it is now widely performed in non-medical facilities, for non-diagnostic purposes. The present study was aimed at comparing the acoustic output, as expressed by thermal index (TI) and mechanical index (MI), of conventional two-dimensional (2D) and 3D/4D ultrasound during pregnancy. Methods: A prospective, observational study was conducted, using three different commercially available machines (iU22, Philips Medical Systems; Prosound Alfa-10, Aloka; and Voluson 730 Expert, General Electric). Patients undergoing additional 3D/4D ultrasound examinations were recruited from those scheduled for fetal anatomy and follow-up exams. Fetuses with anomalies were excluded from the analysis. Data were collected regarding duration of the exam, and each MI and TI during 2D and 3D/4D ultrasound exams. Results: A total of 40 ultrasound examinations were evaluated. Mean gestational age was 31.1 ± 5.8 weeks, and mean duration of the exam was 20.1 ± 9.9 min. Mean Tls during the 3D (0.27 ± 0.1) and 4D examinations (0.24 ± 0.1) were comparable with the TI during B-mode scanning (0.28 ± 0.1, P = 0.343). The MIs during the 3D volume acquisitions were significantly lower than those in the 2D B-mode ultrasound studies (0.89 ± 0.2 vs. 1.12 ± 0.1, P = 0.018). The 3D volume acquisitions added 2.0 ± 1.8 min of actual ultrasound scanning time (i.e. not including data processing and manipulation, or 3D displays, which are all post-processing steps). The 4D added 2.2 ± 1.2 min. Conclusions: Acoustic exposure levels during 3D/4D ultrasound examination, as expressed by TI, are comparable with those of 2D B-mode ultrasound. However, it is very difficult to evaluate the additional scanning time needed to choose an adequate scanning plane and to acquire a diagnostic 3D volume.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)326-328
    Number of pages3
    JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 1 Mar 2007


    • 3D ultrasound
    • 4D ultrasound
    • Acoustic output
    • Mechanical index
    • Safety
    • Thermal index

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
    • Reproductive Medicine
    • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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