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Understanding Ultrasound — What’s All That Gray?

Here’s how you can think of it…

The denser tissues or tissues closer to the transducer reflect the sound waves with greater strength and create a whiter (more echogenic, or hyperechoic) image on the screen.

Lighter tissues or more distant tissues reflect a weaker signal and appear darker on the screen.

Fluid (follicular fluids, embryonic vesicle “fluid”, uterine fluid, etc.) propagates the signal rather than reflecting it back, thus making it appear black (non-echogenic, or hypoechoic) on the screen.

The transducer provides you with a constant or continuous recording, thus allowing real time detection of movements (such as the fetal heart beat). The sound waves can be “focused” to intensify images through the adjustment of the gain value: whether “near gain” for images/tissues close to the transducer, or “far gain” for more distant objects. (The CTS-3300V and CTS-5500V go a step further and even provide you with a bank of “TGC Sliders,” allowing you to control the amount of gain (or energy) being sent to each portion of the image, with great precision.) Users should carefully read the instructions accompanying their particular machine for proper adjustments. Once set up initially, most ultrasounds being used for standard imaging associated with breeding management require only minor adjustments.

 

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