Future ultrasound technologies for the perioperative physician

Graeme McLeod (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Commercial ultrasound systems lack sufficient resolution to differentiate exactly between tissue planes - A 10 MHz transducer has a resolution to only 300 µm. Incorporation of reflectors has improved needle echogenicity but visibility is still impaired out-of-plane to the transducer and with increasing depths. Active needles using electro-magnetic guidance or peizo-electric vibration promise better needle direction. Optical spectroscopy needles needles are able to differentiate between blood, lipid and protein and will be available in practice soon. However, a fundamental physical problem remains - the greater the depth and the higher the transducer frequency, the greater the attenuation of energy, and the poorer tissue visibility. High frequency ultrasound using frequencies between 30 MHz and 50 MHz provide resolution to between 100 µm and 60 µm respectively. Micro-ultrasound is already being used to visualize and measure the properties of tissue in laboratories. Miniature ultrasound transducers integrated at the tip of needles will enable clinicians to image regions such as the epidural space or perineural spaces and identify tissue morphology in colour using features such as strain and shear wave elastography.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPerioperative Medicine - Current Controversies
    EditorsKaren Stuart-Smith
    Place of PublicationSwitzerland
    PublisherSpringer International Publishing
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Electronic)9783319288215
    ISBN (Print)9783319288192
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Colour doppler
    • Elastography
    • Micro-ultrasound
    • Needle
    • Nerve
    • Ultrasonography

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Medicine


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