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Keywords:

  • obstetrical ultrasound safety;
  • thermal effects;
  • mechanical effects;
  • output display standard

Abstract

Ultrasound is a commonly employed imaging modality in obstetrics and is generally regarded as safe to the fetus. Current ultrasound technology, however, has significantly higher output potential than older machines used in most clinical studies, and the safety profile for the increasing use of Doppler, 3-dimensional (D) and 4-D ultrasound with modern machines is unknown. This article reviews the current status of ultrasound safety within obstetrics, including proposed mechanisms of harm, existing scientific and clinical evidence regarding those mechanisms, and considerations of safety for the clinical user. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.