Factors affecting image quality and diagnostic efficacy in abdominal sonography: a prospective study of 140 patients

J Clin Ultrasound. Nov-Dec 1993;21(9):623-30. doi: 10.1002/jcu.1870210909.


A study was undertaken to evaluate the limitations of abdominal sonography in a group of predominantly elderly patients. In the majority of patients (98%) sonography, using 3.5 MHz and 5 MHz array transducers permitted visualization of the major abdominal organs with image quality sufficient for definitive diagnosis, but improved image quality would be desirable in 78% of this sample. Obesity and immobilization were associated with poor sonographic image quality. In 31 of the 45 (69%) poor image quality studies, no near-field artifacts (less than 3 cm depth) were observed. Obstacles in the acoustic path were noted in 77% of the poor image quality studies.

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / diagnostic imaging*
  • Abdominal Muscles / diagnostic imaging
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Artifacts*
  • Cicatrix / diagnostic imaging
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Fascia / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement*
  • Ligaments / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diagnostic imaging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Smoking
  • Supine Position
  • Ultrasonography