Basic Principles and Physics of Ultrasound

  • Sherif Abbas
  • Philip PengEmail author


This chapter discussed the basic knowledge that one needs to acquire before they start the use of ultrasound scanning. These include the physics of sound/ultrasound and image generation by an ultrasound machine, how the image is acquired and processing in the ultrasound machine, the basic knowledge in operating an ultrasound machine (knobology), the basic sonoanatomy of tissue and common artifacts encountered in scanning, and the necessary terms and ergonomics for the performance of ultrasound scanning. A glossary is also included for various terms that are commonly encountered in ultrasound literature.


Sound wave Ultrasound Piezoelectric elements Attenuation Absorption Reflection Refraction Pulse repetition frequency Amplitude Brightness and motion mode Frequency Wavelength Resolution Penetration Gain Depth Doppler Focus Hyperechoic Hypoechoic Anechoic Reverberation Acoustic shadowing Acoustic enhancement artifact Edge shadowing Mirror imaging artifact Transducers In-plane Out-of-plane Long axis Short axis Anisotropy 

Suggested Reading

  1. Abbas K, Chan V. Basic understanding of ultrasound scanning. In: Peng P, editor. Ultrasound in pain medicine intervention: a practical guide, Philip Peng educational series, vol. I. California: Apple Inc; 2014.Google Scholar
  2. Chin KJ. Needle and transducer manipulation: the art of ultrasound guided regional anesthesia. Int J Ultrasound Appl Technol Periop Care. 2010;1:27–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Sehmbi H, Perlas A. Basic of ultrasound imaging. In: Jankovic D, Peng P, editors. Regional nerve blocks in anesthesia and pain therapy. Cham: Springer; 2015.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiaUZ LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesia and Pain ManagementToronto Western Hopsital and Mount Sinai Hospital, University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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