May 20, 2019
Diagnostic ultrasound has been in use since the late 1950s. Given its known benefits and recognized efficacy for medical diagnosis, including use during human pregnancy, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine herein addresses the clinical safety of such use: No independently confirmed adverse effects caused by exposure from present diagnostic ultrasound instruments have been reported in human patients in the absence of contrast agents. Biological effects (such as localized pulmonary bleeding) have been reported in experimental mammalian systems at diagnostically relevant exposures, but the clinical relevance of such effects is either not significant or is not yet known. Increased outputs and time of exposure can increase the likelihood of bioeffects. Ultrasound should be used only by qualified health professionals to provide medical benefit to the patient. Ultrasound exposures during examinations should be as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA).1,2
1. American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. Official Statements: As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) Principle. American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine website. Reapproved April 2, 2014.
2. American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. Official Statements: Recommended Maximum Scanning Times for Displayed Thermal Index (TI) Values. American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine website. Approved October 30, 2016.