Abstract: Research investigating human transadominal ultrasound imaging of the intervertebral disc which first took place in the mid to late 1980’s, was limited by the technology of that time. Later transducer refinements, innovations in harmonic energy control and the digital change-over based on increasingly powerful computer platforms enabled progressive image enhancement with detailed imaging of deeper structures.
With appropriate harmonic settings and probe selection, innovations in diagnostic ultrasound resolution now allow for more detailed anterior lumbar spine image capture even with portable machines.
The images described in this paper may be the first published, high-resolution transabdominal images of the anterior lumbar spine captured with a portable ultrasound machine.
Method: Using a both GE Logiq 9 with a 4C convex probe (1.5-4.5 MHz) and a GE Logiq E portable machine with a GE 4C-RS convex probe (2-5 MHz), transabdominal longitudinal and transverse paraspinal images of the lumbar spine were acquired in an asymptomatic subjects of normal body weight and habitus.
Though the platform model offered somewhat higher resolution, the captured images obtained from the portable machine also demonstrated detailed anatomy of the anterior vertebral body and disc margin architecture. Transverse through images of the lumbar disc, spinal canal were also obtained, and as a side note the caudal nerve roots within the canal were also visualized.
Conclusion: With careful machine settings and probe selection, detailed transabdominal lumbar spine image capture appears to be achievable even with a portable machines.