Ocular Ultrasound

What is B-Scan Ocular Ultrasound?

B-scan Ultrasound plays an important role in the diagnosis and management of various intraocular disorders in both clear and opaque ocular media.

The ocular ultrasound is an imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves that can be used instead of light to create an image of the retina and the surrounding structures. The technique is used to identify complications of diabetic retinopathy including vitreous traction, retinal detachment and blood beneath the retina.

In addition to its use in the detection of obscured pathologies, B-scan ultrasound is frequently used for the characterization of clearly visible pathologies. Some examples include: differentiating rhegmatogenous from exudative retinal detachments; differentiating drusen from papilledema; and determining intraocular tumor type.

In the ophthalmic oncology setting, B-scan ultrasonography is commonly used for the initial and follow-up evaluation of retinoblastoma. Retinoblastoma is a malignant retinal cancer that occurs during childhood. In an emergency department context, B-scan ultrasound can be used for diagnosing ocular pathology in patients who present with acute conditions like central retinal artery occlusions or traumas, which result in retinal detachments, vitreous hemorrhages, or lens dislocations.

Although B-scan has been considered a useful tool in ophthalmology for several decades, continual developments in ultrasound technology have enhanced the ability of practitioners to detect and differentiate an array of intraocular lesions.
The Physician and/or technician will have you lie down on a comfortable chair and will ask you to close your eyes. A small amount of water-based gel will be applied to your eyelid and a transducer will be placed over the eye.

The transducer is a small probe that sends the ultrasound waves to the area of interest. During the test, the physician and/or technician may ask you to move your eye position to get different ultrasound angles. You should continue to keep your eyes closed throughout the test. The technician will remove the gel from your eye or eyes when the test is finished.