Ultrasound is one of the oldest imaging modalities. Sound waves are emitted into the body, and the returning echoes can be interpreted. It has become widely used because it can easily be done at bedside with a relatively small apparatus and does not expose the patient to any ionizing radiation. While this technique has seen widespread acceptance in other fields such as cardiology or obstetrics and gynecology, the general use in ophthalmology has been somewhat limited. However, recent advancements in ultrasonic arrays can be a powerful tool in the evaluation of ophthalmic pathology. Such systems can quickly generate very high detail images and 3D reconstructions without the need for extensive manual scanning. The application of this technology includes evaluation of traumatic eye injuries; assessing presence and location of an intraocular foreign body; evaluation of intraocular tumors, including small tumors that have not yet caused visual distortion; evaluation of retinal detachment; and evaluation of vascular disease. The goal of this article is to briefly review the history and development of ultrasound and to provide an overview of the most current systems and applications of ultrasound use in ophthalmologic clinical evaluation.
Part of the book: Novel Diagnostic Methods in Ophthalmology