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8+ Types Of Ultrasound Probes

Charles M. Carlsen

Published November 22, 2023
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1. Ultrasound Technology For Medical Purposes

The use of ultrasound waves for diagnostic or therapeutic reasons is known as ultrasonic imaging. Doctors can use ultrasound scanners and probes to examine problems with organs, tissues, and veins without making an incision. Ultrasound, unlike other imaging procedures, does not employ radiation. Ultrasounds are the primary means of observing a baby throughout pregnancy due to this.

However, ultrasound systems do not allow us to thoroughly study organs that contain a lot of air, such as the lungs or intestines, or organs encapsulated in very dense structures, such as the brain. This is due to the characteristics of the waves used.
Ultrasound Technology For Medical Purposes

2. Ultrasound Probe/Transducer

The ultrasonic probe, also known as a transducer, is the component of the ultrasound system that makes contact with the patient. It is where the crystals that broadcast and receive sound pulses are kept. A transducer is a device that converts energy from one form to another, such as a lamp or a television antenna. Similarly, the probe transforms electricity to sound and vice versa before sending the information to the ultrasound machine to be processed and displayed.
Ultrasound Probe-Transducer

3. Types of Ultrasound Probes

The shape of the probe is the easiest way to determine the probe type. Each probe has a unique purpose. However, some can be used for various tests. Their shape and internal crystal makeup differentiate the way they display images and the frequencies on which they function. We'll go over some of the more popular ones in depth below.

Here is the list of type of Transducers

Linear probe

The array and appearance of linear probes are flat. The piezoelectric crystals in a linear probe are placed in a linear pattern to produce a straight sound wave. Linear probes can be used for applications, including vascular, breast, thyroid, and tendon exams, among others. These probes often have a rectangular beam with excellent near-field resolution and run at a high frequency to achieve improved picture resolution.

Convex Probe

The curved array of convex probes (also known as curved linear probes) offers for a larger field of view. In the convex array probe, the piezoelectric crystals are arranged in a curvilinear pattern. Ultrasound probes of this type are complicated, with about 500 components in their crystal structure. These are usually ideal for more in-depth investigations. These transducers are used for vascular, abdominal, OB/GYN, nerve, and musculoskeletal tests, among other things. Convex probes are generally utilized for abdominal scans because of their design, which allows for a wider and deeper view.

Phased Array

A phased array probe, also known as a cardiac probe, has a smaller handle with a square-shaped lens and array. Typically, images of the heart are scanned. The depth of phased array probes will be more significant in reaching the heart and producing an image. This transducer gets its name from its phased array crystal arrangement because phased array transducers contain fewer crystals; the crystals fire in phases to create the image seen on the screen.

TEE (Transesophageal) Probe

TEE probes are cardiac probes that provide obscured images of the heart by implanting the probe into the patient's esophagus and stomach. These probes can move in four different directions, governed by the handle controls.
TEE (Transesophageal) Probe

3D/4D Scanner

Excluding a moving array, 3D probes operate similarly to 2D probes. The variety within the probe moves in a sweeping motion, capturing image slices from various sides. The trapped pieces are then combined to create a 3D still image or a 4D live picture.
3D-4D Scanner

Pencil Probe

CW Doppler probes quantify blood flow and the speed of sound in the blood.

This probe is compact and operates at a low frequency (typically 2–8Mhz).

Transvaginal ultrasound

Types of Ultrasound Transvaginal Probes

Transvaginal ultrasound is a test that examines a woman's uterus, reproductive organs, tubes, cervix, and pelvic area.

Transvaginal means "across or through the vagina." During the test, the ultrasound probe will be located inside the vagina.
Pencil Probe

Wireless Dual-head Probe

They were composed of two probes (with three scanning modes: convex, linear, and phased array), which can be used for multiple applications at once, including cardiac examination. It is more cost-effective than purchasing three separate probes.
Wireless Dual-head Probe
Article by
Charles M. Carlsen
Hello! I'm Charles, As co-founder of Drsono, I contribute to the DRSONO blog, providing valuable insights and up-to-date information on ultrasound technology and diagnostic imaging.

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