6 Ways to Improve Ultrasound Imaging


Trying to adjust the image on an ultrasound machine isn’t like adjusting the rabbit ears on an old television. It takes specific knowledge of the machine. Having a clear image on the monitor will help the technician and doctor see better and make an accurate diagnosis. Machines like the Phillips Epiq 7 are state of the art and come with the necessary tools to adjust images. However, some ultrasound images are hard to view, and there’s no need to make it more difficult. Try using some of these ways to improve ultrasound imaging.



The quickest way to improve the image is to make sure you use the right pre-sets. Using pre-sets puts you in the best starting position for the examination. It will also reduce the amount of alterations you need to make to the background settings. A cardiac pre-set, for example, will commonly feature a low grey scale that will increase the frame rate. This is a useful feature because you’re less interested in subtle tissue differences and more interested in fast moving anatomy.


Ultrasound depth is a forgotten control that makes a big difference. The organ you want to see should fill three-quarters of the screen. If you don’t adjust this first, you will probably have to adjust the gain and frequency a second time.


Most ultrasound probes have multiple frequencies, which is why it’s important to scan on the right one. The higher the frequency used, the higher the resolution of the image. The lower the frequency, though, the better the penetration. You need to select the highest frequency that will give you the best penetration.


Gain controls the image’s brightness. It’s easy to assume that having the gain set high will improve the view. However, if the image is too bright, it will wash out the dark areas. It’s better to have the gain set lower, so the image is darker. You also want to view it in a darkened room because it’s easier to see that way.


If your machine has time gain compensation (TGC), then you can alter the gain down the screen in steps. Ultrasound beams are attenuated as they travel away from the probe. They deeper they go, the weaker the returning signal is. This makes the image darker further down the screen. TGC allows you to compensate for this.


Some machines let the user adjust the number and position of focal points on the screen. Increasing the number of focal points makes the machine work harder and reduces frame rate. To see movement, you need only one focal point. Several focus points will increase visibility of larger organs.