Ultrasound tests use high-frequency sound waves that bounce off internal structures of the body to produce an electronic image that can then be analyzed for problems. Ultrasound is painless, non-invasive and can be used to detect a variety of disorders. Screening tests are often done using ultrasound to find problems before symptoms develop.
Ultrasound Screenings Cannot Detect Osteoporosis Accurately
Some diagnostic companies offer ultrasound screenings for a number of different medical problems. These often include screening for osteoporosis, a disorder in which the bones become thinner and more vulnerable to fractures. It can lead to severe disability in older people. However, ultrasound screening has been found to be less accurate than bone density tests for detecting the early signs of this bone disease. Additional tests using bone density scanners are required to accurately detect the presence of osteoporosis.
Ultrasound Screening Can Give False Positives
Ultrasound screening does not always give a clear picture of abnormalities in the internal organs. This inaccuracy can lead to false positive results that can cause patients unnecessary fear and worry about possible illness. In addition, ultrasound inaccuracy increases the need for other tests to confirm the results, leading to increased costs. Experts recommend that ultrasound screening be used for those disorders that have a high degree of diagnostic accuracy to prevent unnecessary patient stress and redundancy of testing.
Ultrasound Screening For Breast Cancer Can Save Lives
Detecting breast cancer is one of the areas in which ultrasound health screening has been found to help save lives. Mammograms are the preferred method of detecting breast cancer because this type of testing has a high degree of accuracy. However, ultrasound screening can be helpful in detecting cancers in women with extremely dense breast tissue. For women who have a high risk of developing breast cancer because of family history or other factors, regular ultrasound screening in between mammogram testing can help to find cancers in the early stages and increase their ability to survive this disease.
Ultrasound is Recommend to Detect Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms in Men
Ultrasound screening can be useful in detecting certain vascular conditions that may not show symptoms. Abdominal aortic aneurysm is an enlarged area in the blood vessel that supplies blood to the lower part of the heart. The aneurysm can rupture causing an emergency medical situation. The aneurysm often grows slowly and causes no symptoms, until it begins to produce pain in the stomach or back. Men between the ages of 65 to 75 who have smoked are at high risk for this condition. Ultrasound screening can help to detect this condition so that adequate medical monitoring and treatment can begin.
Ultrasound Screening Can Help Detect Down’s Syndrome
Ultrasound has been used for decades to monitor the development of the fetus during pregnancy. It can be a very useful tool for determining the age of the fetus and for detecting physical abnormalities in the fetus and the placenta. Ultrasound can also help to detect Down’s Syndrome, a developmental abnormality, when the physician or patient wishes to avoid more invasive testing methods.