A biopsy is a medical test commonly performed by a surgeon or an interventional radiologist involving sampling of cells or tissues for examination. It is the medical removal of tissue from a living subject to determine the presence or extent of a disease. The tissue is generally examined under a microscope by a pathologist, and can also be analyzed chemically. When an entire lump or suspicious area is removed, the procedure is called an excisional biopsy. When only a sample of tissue is removed with preservation of the histological architecture of the tissue’s cells, the procedure is called an incisional biopsy or core biopsy. When a sample of tissue or fluid is removed with a needle in such a way that cells are removed without preserving the histological architecture of the tissue cells, the procedure is called a needle aspiration biopsy. Biopsies are most commonly performed for insight into possible cancerous and inflammatory conditions.
Ultrasound is an oscillating sound pressure wave with a frequency greater than the upper limit of the human hearing range. Ultrasound is thus not separated from 'normal' (audible) sound based on differences in physical properties, only the fact that humans cannot hear it. Although this limit varies from person to person, it is approximately 20 kilohertz (20,000 hertz) in healthy, young adults. Ultrasound devices operate with frequencies from 20 kHz up to several gigahertz.
Ultrasound is used in many different fields. Ultrasonic devices are used to detect objects and measure distances. Ultrasonic imaging (sonography) is used in both veterinary medicine and human medicine. In the nondestructive testing of products and structures, ultrasound is used to detect invisible flaws. Industrially, ultrasound is used for cleaning and for mixing, and to accelerate chemical processes. Organisms such as bats and porpoises use ultrasound for locating prey and obstacles.
Ultrasound image of a fetus in the womb, viewed at 12 weeks of pregnancy (bidimensional-scan)
An ultrasonic examination in East Germany, 1990
Ultrasonics is the application of ultrasound. Ultrasound can be used for medical imaging, detection, measurement and cleaning. At higher power levels, ultrasonics is useful for changing the chemical properties of substances.
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