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Modern pediatric ultrasound: potential applications and clinical significance. A review

      Abstract

      After the introduction of ultrasound (US), the new imaging modality was first warmly welcomed, but then lost reputation and importance particularly in radiology leading to an increasing number of other—particularly computed tomography (CT)—investigations, which especially in pediatrics was a potentially dangerous development considering the radiation hazards.
      However, innovative and creative US approaches as well as new US techniques such as amplitude-coded color Doppler, harmonic and high-resolution imaging, and US contrast media or three-dimensional US have been introduced over the past decade and significantly broadened the potential of US. Thus, now, the role of US has been widened in many conditions and queries, and US today may well play a more pronounced and essential role in modern imaging algorithms at still relatively low cost, with sufficient diagnostic accuracy and conspicuity. Particularly in the pediatric setting, these new capabilities are applicable in many queries and almost all body regions and should be used to reduce the number of more invasive or radiating and relatively costly examinations that often additionally need some sedation or intravenous iodinated contrast material. To readily provide this approach for sick children, we need to promote the knowledge about modern US capabilities, to train US staff to guarantee 24-h availability of adequate pediatric US performance, and to make it known to the referring clinicians.

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