Ultrasound continues to be one of the most important diagnostic tools at our disposal in  the world of healthcare. It is used by a wide range of healthcare professionals across  many applications.


The rapid expansion of abdominal ultrasound examinations within the field of medica! imaging worldwide has led to a need for an increasing number of health care  professionals to be trained in its use. This course is intended as a practical guide for  those learning and developing in the field of abdominal ultrasound. It is aimed at those healthcare professionals starting or who have already started their  training  in this field and who are beginning to enjoy the challenge of abdominal scanning. It is hoped that those already scanning in a team with support from experienced colleagues or those practicing single handed in less than ideal conditions might also ,eind. it useful. Most of all, it is hoped that you will continue to refer to these note,assignments and links to cinuously improve your  knowledge.


The intention is to provide sufficient ultrasound and clinical  information to  enable the user to identify normal appearances and variations, to show what to look for in a methodical manner, to help form an opinion of the patient's condition from both the ultrasound appearances and overall clinical picture and to recognise the  limitations of the  ultrasound examination  when  they exist.


As the success of any ultrasound scan is dependent on the skill of the operator, it is hoped that this course will encourage and enable the user to progress towards achieving a high standard of scanning in abdominal ultrasound which in turn will provide a quality  service that the  patient  deserves.


It must be kept in mind that this is not a comprehensive account of all the pathological processes likely to be encountered,  but is intended as a springboard  from which  practical skills and clinical knowledge can develop further. It is hoped that the users' awareness of the contribution of ultrasound within the genera!  clinical picture will introduce the sonographer  to  its enormous  potential.


The most obvious drawbacks of ultrasound diagnosis are the physical limitations  ot ...ound in tissue and its tremendous depenèlence upon the skill of the operator. Methodical scanning  makes it possible for every examination  to  be followed  using standard guidelines and procedures. This system enables the comparison of studies to be made irrespective of who did each   scan.


The first chapter is an introduction to the physics of ultrasound. The following chapters discuss the anatomy and  practical  ultrasound application  in relation to the  abdomen.

Please continue at your own pace, ensuring that you understand each chapter, complete the assignments, questions or problems before progressing to the next chapter.