Researchers presented exciting new data on the use of extremely low-frequency ultrasound for the bedside diagnosis of a wide range of pathology.
“We’re very excited by the technique,” remarked Bret Nelson as he described a method he has used for many years. With conventional ultrasound, sound waves above the range of human hearing transmitted from a transducer into the patient. These waves are then reflected back to the transducer, creating an image on the ultrasound screen.
“By using sound waves within the range of human hearing, we have been able to create an image directly into the mind of the operator. This obviates the need for special equipment, and does not require the use of gel.” Dr. Nelson demonstrated the technique:
“So what brings you here today?” At this point, sound waves were transmitted from Dr. Nelson into the patient.
“I’m having an allergic reaction.” New sound waves were then transferred from the patient to Dr. Nelson.
“Why do you say that?” The cycle repeats with a new pulse.
“I’m allergic to shrimp, and I ate some shrimp, and now I have a rash.”
“I agree. You seem to be having an allergic reaction.” Diagnosis confirmed! Now treatment can begin.
The research team warned that this technique is quite operator dependent, and can often involve multiple cycles before the diagnosis is confirmed. But they hope that someday this technique can augment information gained from traditional ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI.