Ultrasound or sonography involves sending sound waves into the body. These sound waves are reflected off the internal organs and are recorded by special instruments that create images of anatomic parts. No ionizing radiation (x-ray) is involved in ultrasound imaging. Ultrasound images are captured in real-time so they can show movement of internal tissues and organs and the flow of blood in arteries and veins.
Ultrasound is a useful way of examining many of the body's internal organs, including the heart, liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, and bladder. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show movement of internal tissues and organs, and enable physicians to see blood flow and heart valve functions. This can help to diagnose a variety of heart conditions and to assess damage after a heart attack or other illness.