May 20, 2019
Diagnostic ultrasound has been in use since the late 1950s. There are no confirmed adverse biological effects on patients resulting from this use. Although no hazard has been identified that would preclude the prudent and conservative use of diagnostic ultrasound in research, experience from normal diagnostic practice may not be relevant to potential extended exposure times and altered exposure conditions in research. It is therefore considered appropriate to make the following recommendation: When examinations are carried out for purposes of research, ultrasound exposures should be as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) within the goals of the study. In addition, informed consent, using a form approved by an Institutional Review board, should be obtained from the patient. Informed consent forms should include information about the anticipated exposure conditions and how these compare with normal diagnostic practice. Repetitive and prolonged exposures on a single patient should be justified and consistent with prudent and conservative use.