Comparison of Conventional Sonography

Sonography is a highly informative method of diagnostics which does not have any undesirable effects on the organism of a patient. Painlessness and harmlessness make it possible to use sonography in different age groups, including children. Various scientific data obtained over many years indicate that the ultrasound doses obtained during sonography are not cumulated in the body – in contrast to x-ray or radionuclide examinations. This allows for repeated diagnostics of the patient without limiting the time interval between them, which, in turn, makes it possible to evaluate the studied processes in dynamics. Different kinds of sonography specialize in more narrow fields of clinical pathologies, and should be used accordingly. However, each of them has its own limitations: in quality, imaging modes or possibilities of use.

In their article Comparison of Conventional Sonography, Real-Time Compound Sonography, Tissue Harmonic Sonography, and Tissue Harmonic Compound Sonography of Abdominal and Pelvic Lesions (2003), Oktar et al. perform a deep analysis of sonography methods listed in the title. Within their works, authors strive to evaluate a variety of aspects crucial for choosing a particular method for diagnostics, and examine which kind of sonography surpasses others in quality and efficiency.

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The authors of the article are a team of Turkish academics who specialize on research in the field of ultrasound diagnostics. Suna Özhan Oktar is considered to be the most respectable author, with more than 41 works in the radiological and ultrasound diagnostics research field. Her co-authors are also medical professionals – professors and practicing diagnosticians. The audience of the article corresponds with the audience of the journal, and consists of medical professionals who have a constant contact with the field of diagnostics methods such as radiology and ultrasound.

The evidence base authors present supports the credibility of their work, comprising a wide selection of samples and a reliable evaluation. According to authors, “all images were reviewed and graded independently by two observers for overall image quality, lesion conspicuity, and elimination of artifacts” (p.1341). As the article is supposed to be read and reviewed by medical professionals, its writing tone and style are highly academical, appropriate for publishing in this field.

One of the main facts that support the credibility of the article is that it was accepted and published in the American Journal of Roentgenology. According to the information on the journal’s website, AJR is highly respected, and every article that is to be published in it would be peer-reviewed first and foremost. In consideration of medical ethic, all images were submitted as confidential, with an informed consent from patients and approval from institution. Authors claim that “single radiologist obtained all images, which were then evaluated by two other experienced radiologists for overall image quality and further characterized as to lesion conspicuity and unwanted artifacts” (p. 1342). Due to this fact, the article relied heavily at the authority of the examinations.

Seeing as the article is purely scientific, and the research was conducted in the medical field, the authors do not appeal to the emotions of a reader. Perhaps, if the discussed topic were broader or more contradictory, there would be a need and a way to include emotional feedback into the article. However, for this study, a more emotional approach would be unprofessional. The authors discussed pros and cons of sonography as a diagnostics method, as well as interpreted the data they collected during the research, so they have had to keep their writing as objective as possible.

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Without the clouding of emotional appeal, the logical approach is quite visible: authors provided scientific analysis of each variable and made the conclusions based on that analysis. In addition, logical thinking is apparent in the discussion they draw from the results the analytic part provided. Authors’ main statement is concluded accordingly to every part of this discussion. The research found out that “for overall image quality, lesion conspicuity, and elimination of unwanted artifacts, tissue harmonic compound sonography is superior to other sonographic modes for abdominal and pelvic imaging in general” (p. 1344). However, the authors then also specify the reliability of other sonography methods, which only adds to the article’s credibility and value.

Surprisingly, authors also add their observations into the discussion, stating that “in our experience, we have noticed that with the addition of tissue harmonic sonography to compound sonography, blurring diminishes” (p. 1343). Overall, the authors provide their readers with a clear and concise exploration of their chosen sonography methods, explaining each method’s limitations in regard to the topic. The research means they used are plenty, as authors use both statistical analysis and independent evaluation from experts. Authors state that “statistical analysis was performed with the SPSS 11.0 program, and a Friedman test, Kappa scores and a p value were performed and calculated”. Each test served a different purpose, making the study more objective and complete. Due to a strictly scientific and consistent approach, there were no flaws in the logical part of the research, and every question the authors stated in the beginning was properly answered with analytical and data evidence.

This research provides a valuable insight into the reliability of different sonography methods, covering every aspect of the chosen topic. Every discussion point presented in the article is supported by strong evidence of clear data and consistent analysis. After the data was analyzed and interpreted, the conclusion the authors make is very clear, and can be easily verified by the information collected during the research. The topic the authors chose was covered appropriately, in a strictly academical tone, without subjective opinions or emotional influence. Throughout the research, the question that headlined the study was answered concisely and completely, and there are no claims to be made about the research methods or the study in general.

Reference

Oktar, S. Ö., Yücel, C., Özdemir, H., Ulutürk, A., & Işık, S. (2003). Comparison of Conventional Sonography, Real-Time Compound Sonography, Tissue Harmonic Sonography, and Tissue Harmonic Compound Sonography of Abdominal and Pelvic Lesions. American Journal of Roentgenology, 181(5), 1341–1347.

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