Is Ultrasound Considered Diagnostic Imaging?

Learn About Diagnostic Imaging & Ultrasound Imaging


When doctors require a deeper understanding of what’s going on within their patients’ bodies, they frequently refer them for diagnostic imaging. There are, however, many types of diagnostic imaging exams, the results of which will aid your doctor in making an accurate diagnosis and selecting the appropriate treatment strategy. Diagnostic imaging examinations come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Each uses a different technology to make their photographs and is useful to doctors and patients. Take a look at the different types of diagnostic tools focusing on ultrasound. 

What is diagnostic imaging?

Diagnostic imaging refers to a number of non-invasive techniques for seeing inside the body to establish the origin of an injury or illness and confirm a diagnosis. It’s also utilized to see how effectively your body is responding to a disease or a fracture treatment. The most common form of diagnostic imaging includes x-ray, CT scans, MRIs, 3D mammography, fluoroscopy, DEXA scans, diagnostic ultrasound, and PET Scans.

Medical imaging is an important aspect of the healthcare process. It can aid in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of disorders, although the distinction between screening and diagnostic medical imaging is not always clear. Screening is taking photographs of several sections of your body in order to detect cancer or other major issues before symptoms appear. 

Diagnostic imaging is used to figure out what is causing a person’s health problem. All methods of imaging are necessary depending on the circumstances to determine a health issue. While diagnostic imaging is comparable to screening, it may take longer if your doctor needs many images or magnifications of a specific location.

What is ultrasound?

Diagnostic ultrasound, commonly known as sonography or diagnostic medical sonography, is an imaging technique that produces images of inside body structures using high-frequency sound waves. The images can aid in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of diseases and ailments. The majority of ultrasound exams are performed with an ultrasound device outside of your body, while some need the placement of a device within your body.

Sound waves are used in ultrasound technology to make images of particular types of tissue. During an ultrasound, a gel is applied to the skin near the affected area by the technician. The probe, known as a transducer, is then placed directly on the skin. Sound waves are created by the transducer and bounce back on denser tissues after passing through soft tissue and fluid. Based on the bouncing waves, an ultrasound machine develops an image. Denser tissues seem lighter gray, while softer tissues appear darker gray.

Is ultrasound the same as ultrasonic imaging?

While ultrasound uses frequencies greater than humans can hear (around 20 kilohertz), ultrasonic refers to frequencies higher than 20 kilohertz and are also not hearable by humans.

When is ultrasound used?

Ultrasounds are a beneficial tool that can help to diagnose problems inside the body by creating images through sound. Basically, ultrasounds can help to see internal organs in adults, children, and infants. In addition, Doppler ultrasounds can help evaluate blood flow and vessels, tumors, and signs of infections. Ultrasounds come in multiple types, including transabdominal, transvaginal, and transrectal for internal examinations. Also, they can help with detecting internal issues without radiation.   MSK ultrasound aid in imaging of the musculoskeletal system.

What does an ultrasound check for?

Doctors use this tool to view the uterus, ovaries, gallbladder, blood flow, guide a needle during a biopsy or tumor treatment, examine breasts for lumps, check the thyroid gland, detect genital and prostate concerns, joint inflammation, and diagnose metabolic bone disease. Furthermore, doctors can use them to check the heart, liver, renal system, and vascular. Doctors can even use ultrasounds to check for stomach ulcers. They are an indispensable tool for diagnosing patients; even veterinarians can use them for diagnosing animals’ internal issues.  

What are the pros and cons of an ultrasound?

The best pros of ultrasound are they do not use radiation. Ultrasound machines are often portable, and they are very easy to use and safe for patients. With a wide range of uses, ultrasounds are extremely beneficial in capturing clear images to detect abnormalities. Furthermore, they are painless and inaudible, unlike other machines. Lastly, the tool provides real-time images in a short amount of time, and they are quite affordable to operate. 

Ultrasounds do have a few negatives, such as anisotropy; that is, the images produce different properties in different directions and therefore must be used in a perpendicular method. Also, they are not useful for the brain as they have a hard time penetrating through the skull bone or other bones, and this makes it impossible to use ultrasound for bowls too. The images are very low resolution and require dedicated study to understand what is seen in an ultrasound. 

Next, ultrasounds can increase tissue temperature slightly but rarely affect the body. For pregnant women, routine ultrasound can lead to premature birth in some women, but doctors have not figured out why. Moreover, ultrasounds can affect the development of babies and may lead to disabilities in some infants. Finally, people who operate an ultrasound will have to be able to interpret the results, which can be quite difficult, and they must have a strong knowledge of anatomy. 

Is an ultrasound considered a diagnostic test?

Yes, as ultrasounds can help to diagnose conditions and offer a wide range of uses. Any tool that can help doctors to diagnose is considered a diagnostic test. Diagnostic imaging refers to various procedures for looking into the body to determine the source of an illness or damage and confirm a diagnosis. Doctors also use sonography to assess how well a patient’s body responds to fracture or sickness therapy.

When is diagnostic imaging required?

Diagnostic imaging is required when a physical exam is inadequate in diagnosing a patient. Your doctor will determine if you need diagnostic imaging. Most insurances will cover a wide range of necessary diagnostic imaging as they can save money by determining issues to allow doctors the ability to treat problems. In emergency rooms, diagnostic tests are definitely necessary to determine life-threatening injuries. 

What services are considered diagnostic imaging?

Many different diagnostic imaging devices exist to help doctors determine health problems. Here are the most common: 

The most well-known diagnostic imaging service is x-ray. Doctors use them to image the bones of your body. The x-ray machine generates a high-energy beam that travels through your body but is unable to penetrate bones and solid tissue. This creates an image that doctors can use to examine your bones and assess any damage they may have sustained.

CT scans, also computed tomography or cat scan, are made up of a sequence of X-ray images obtained from various angles. Then, inside the body, computer software makes cross-sectional images (slices) of the bones, soft tissues, and blood arteries. It gives a more accurate picture than traditional x-rays. It is frequently used to quickly assess persons who may have suffered internal damage as a result of a trauma.

MRI’s, or magnetic resonance imaging, does not use radiation; it uses a very strong magnet to get a full image of a body part or the full body. MRI machines can come in four styles, closed, wide bore, true open, and 3T, which stands for Tesla, the unit of measure. 

A 3-D Mammogram uses multiple angles to capture photos of thin “slices” of the breast. Then it reconstructs an image with computer software to look for anomalies. The procedure is similar to how a CT scanner creates images of internal body structures. 

A DEXA scan, also known as a bone density scan, is the only test that allows a clinician to diagnose osteoporosis before a fracture occurs. This is crucial because, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, “a woman’s risk of fracture is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer.”

Ultrasounds are used for more than just pregnancy as they are utilized for a range of diagnostic applications, including pediatric, vascular, and testicular instances. Radiation is not used with ultrasounds. Instead, they build an image by using sound waves that reflect off tissue in your body.

PET/CT scans use tracers injected into the veins to show the flow of fluids throughout your body. This informs doctors about the health of your organs and tissues. PET/CT scans are frequently used to assess blood flow, oxygen use, and the amount of sugar in the body to detect disease at the molecular level. 

Why Choose Portland Wellness Care for diagnostic imaging?

The Portland Wellness Company collaborates with a number of insurance carriers to serve a diverse range of customers. More importantly, we serve consumers by utilizing various integrated medical resources. We can help you stay healthy by combining western and eastern treatments, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic therapy, and more. 

Additionally, Portland Wellness Care offers a range of diagnostic imaging tools as a critical part of patients’ wellness. These tools allow us to assess issues for a proper diagnosis and treatment. At our clinic, we offer various diagnostic imaging services, including x-ray, MRI, and ultrasound. Call us today to schedule an appointment to get the diagnostic imaging tests you need. 


Diagnostic tools help doctors to determine what is going on inside the body, making them invaluable to everyone. Ultrasound offers one of the best options as it offers real-time imaging for a variety of health concerns. Portland Wellness Care offers a host of diagnostic imaging tools to help patients live well. Call today and schedule an appointment so you can get back to enjoying life.


Portland Wellness Care offers free consultations for patients who have questions, such as: What is the best treatment plan for me? What services will help me most? What the out-of-pocket costs might I incurred? How long will my treatment plan last?
or call us today at (971) 379-2455
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