Ultrasound BAsics

Ultrasound essentials

First, get to know your machine you have access to on the ward, clinic or in the ED. We will have selected machines available at the bootcamp, but what really matters is what you will use in your own environment. So take a picture of your machine and get to know the knobs and buttons.

Many of you will arrive already having some experience with probe handling. You may not know that movements are standardize by international convention. Understanding probe movements is critical to advancing your skill and may be the difference between satisfactory and excellent images.

Familiarize yourself with these basic imaging planes. They will help you understand image acquisition, particularly in thoracic ultrasound. Although cardiac ultrasound has its own unique planes, almost all other modalities generally use this framework.

Notably, imaging orientation is different between cardiology and traditional radiological standards. This image to the left shows a visual representation of these differences. Although some existing training programs (i.e. EDE US) uses one orientation for all applications, we will be exploring pathology using conventional standards that are accepted internationally.

You will need to understand basic echocardiography views. You can look under "focused echo windows" on this section of website to learn or to refresh your understanding of these critical views.

Image interpretation

Image evaluation

Every image should be evaluated for Orientation, Depth, Angle and Gain (ODAG). It is essential to optimize screen 'real estate' to capture the full depth of your image.

Bahner DP, Blickendorf JM, Bockbrader M, et al. Language of Transducer Manipulation. Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine. 2016;35(1): 681-694.e681.