Ultrasound probes, also called transducers, are devices that emit and receive sound waves. They are an essential part of ultrasound machines, which use those sound waves to create images of the inside of the body. In this blog post, we’ll look at what ultrasound probes are used for and the three main types of probes you need to know about.
What Are Ultrasound Probes Used For?
Ultrasound probes are most commonly used for diagnostic purposes. That means they help doctors detect and diagnose conditions and diseases. Ultrasounds can be used to look at many different parts of the body, including the brain, heart, joints, and muscles. They can also be used during pregnancy to get a clear image of the developing fetus.
There are two main types of diagnostic ultrasound: abdominal and obstetric. Obstetric ultrasounds assess pregnancy and check on the fetus’s health. Abdominal ultrasounds examine organs like the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and kidneys.
In addition to diagnostic purposes, ultrasound probes can be used for therapeutic purposes. That means they can be used to treat conditions and diseases. For example, ultrasound-guided biopsies use sound waves to help guide a needle through the body to collect tissue samples. Ultrasound therapy can also break up kidney stones or relieve pain in some body regions.
Types of Ultrasound Probes
Now that you know the role of ultrasound probes, let us delve into what makes them unique – their three types: convex array, linear array, and phased array.
Convex Array Probes
Convex array probes are one of the most common types of ultrasound probes. They’re often used for abdominal ultrasounds because they provide a wide field of view (FOV). That means they can image a large area at once, which is helpful when getting an overview of an organ like the liver or kidneys. Convex array probes typically have a frequency range between 3.5-6.5 MHz.
Linear Array Probes
Linear array probes are another common type of ultrasound probe. They’re often used for cardiac ultrasounds because they provide a long FOV. That means they can image an extended area at once, which is helpful when getting an overview of an organ like the heart, blood vessels, or MSK (musculoskeletal imaging). Linear array probes typically have a frequency range between 7.5-11 MHz.
Phased Array Probes
Phased array probes are less standard than convex and linear array probes, but they’re still essential to know about. Phased array probes provide a very narrow FOV (field of view). That means they can image a small area at once, which is helpful when getting a detailed picture of an organ like the brain or fetus during pregnancy. Phased array probes typically have a frequency range between 2-7.5 MHz.
Ultrasound machines are essential in diagnosing and treating conditions and diseases using sound waves. Ultrasound probes (or transducers) emit and receive those sound waves to create images of what’s happening inside the body. In this blog post, we looked at what ultrasound probes are used for and the three main types of ultrasound probes: convex array, linear array, and phased array.
If you have any questions about ultrasound equipment or other medical imaging devices, don’t hesitate to contact JayXRay—we’re always happy to help! Plus, don’t forget to sign up for our blog and stay up-to-date on the latest medical imaging products and news.