How Does the Ultrasound Technology Used in a Liverscan Work?

Ultrasound technology has come a long way since it was first invented in the 1950s. Today, it is used in a variety of medical procedures, including liverscans. This article will describe how ultrasound technology works and what purpose it serves in a liverscan. Let’s get started.

How exactly does an ultrasound work? 

An ultrasound machine uses sound waves to generate images of the inside of a patient’s body. The machine sends out high-frequency sound waves that reflect off the tissues and organs within the body. The reflected sound waves are then converted into electrical signals that are then used to create images on a computer screen. 

The images are transmitted in real-time, which means that the machine can create a moving image of the organs and tissues. This is useful in liverscans, as it allows the doctor to see the inside of the organ as it functions and look for any abnormalities. 

Ultrasound technology is safe, painless, and does not use ionising radiation. This makes it an ideal choice for liverscans and other medical procedures where you might be concerned about irradiating your organs.

How was the ultrasound machine first developed?

The ultrasound machine was first developed in the 1950s by a team of scientists at the University of Glasgow. The team was led by Dr Ian Donald, who is considered the father of medical ultrasound. However, much of the credit for the creation of the ultrasound must also go to engineer Tom Brown.

What qualifications do you need to perform ultrasounds?

In order to perform an ultrasound, you must be a qualified ultrasound technician. This means that you must have completed an accredited training program and passed a certification exam. 

The training to become an ultrasound technician involves learning how to use the ultrasound machine, how to take images, and how to interpret the images. You will also learn about the different types of diagnostic imaging procedures and when they are required. 

Once you have completed your training and passed the certification exam, you will be able to perform ultrasounds. Most procedures are performed in a hospital or clinic, but you may also be able to perform them in some private practices.

What purpose does ultrasound serve in a liverscan? 

Ultrasound is commonly used to assess the liver for various conditions, such as fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, and tumours. An ultrasound can help to visualise the organ as well as any abnormalities that may be present. 

Additionally, ultrasound can be used to guide needle biopsies of the organ. A needle biopsy involves taking a small sample of tissue from the organ for further testing. Ultrasound is used to help guide the needle into the correct location.

Conditions typically diagnosed with a liverscan

Fatty liver disease

This condition occurs when there is an accumulation of fat in the organ. This can be due to a variety of factors, such as obesity, diabetes, and excessive alcohol consumption. An ultrasound can help to diagnose this condition, as it can show the accumulation of fat in the liver. 


Cirrhosis is a condition that results in the scarring of the organ. This can be due to a variety of factors, such as hepatitis and alcoholism. An ultrasound can help to diagnose this condition, as it can show the level of scarring that has occurred. 


A liverscan can also help to diagnose tumours. Tumours can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Ultrasound can help to show the size, shape, and location of the tumour.

Want to know more?

If you want to know more about ultrasounds and how they can be used to diagnose issues with the liver, then it’s best to speak to your doctor. As with any medical subject, there is a lot of complexity, and it is best to speak to a qualified expert so you can get the best understanding possible.

With that said, we hope the information above has given you a little more insight into the history and use of ultrasounds.

About the author: Judith Burke