Ultrasonic Localization of Foreign Bodies

Murray G. Smyth Jr., MD
JAMA. 1966;195(8):702. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100080142058.
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To the Editor:—  In the Dec 6 issue (194:1159, 1965), Dr. Mason provides excellent recommendations on the management of a case in which a piece of 25-gauge, 5/8-inch needle had become lodged in the triceps. May I discuss another technique for localizing foreign bodies in soft tissue, which has proved useful in similar situations.Diagnostic ultrasonic equipment can localize imbedded foreign objects in three planes. A search probe is placed over the general site of the foreign body. The probe transmits a painless, harmless inaudible sound beam into the tissue and receives echoes from any subsurface interface that is not homogeneous with surrounding tissue. Reflected sound is picked up by the probe, amplified, and fed to a display screen.When the foreign-body echo appears on the screen, the examiner knows that the object is directly beneath and in line with the probe. Moreover, since the display is calibrated in


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