History of Ultrasound in Urology

  • Nikhil Waingankar
  • Bruce R. GilbertEmail author
Part of the Current Clinical Urology book series (CCU)


Ultrasound is the portion of the acoustic spectrum characterized by sonic waves that emanate at frequencies greater than that of the upper limit of sound audible to humans, 20 kHz. A phenomenon of physics that is found throughout nature, ultrasound is utilized by rodents, dogs, moths, dolphins, whales, frogs, and bats for a variety of purposes, including communication, evading predators, and locating prey [1–4]. Lorenzo Spallazani, an eighteenth-century Italian biologist and physiologist, was the first to provide experimental evidence that non-audible sound exists. Moreover, he hypothesized the utility of ultrasound in his work with bats by demonstrating that bats use sound rather than sight to locate insects and avoid obstacles during flight; this was proven in an experiment where blind-folded bats were able to fly without navigational difficulty while bats with their mouths covered were not. He later determined through operant conditioning that the Eptesicus fuscus bat can perceive tones between 2.5 and 100 kHz [5, 6].


Transrectal Ultrasound Piezoelectric Quartz Crystal Pierre Curie United States Atomic Energy Commission Spermatic Cord Torsion 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health SystemThe Arthur Smith Institute for UrologyNew Hyde ParkUSA
  2. 2.Hofstra North Shore LIJ School of MedicineThe Arthur Smith Institute for UrologyNew Hyde ParkUSA

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