General Information

A fully equipped Ultrasound Department operates within the Athens Euroclinic, performing the entire range of diagnostic exams and an extensive array of modern imaging procedures involving ultrasounds.

All exams are in line with the guidelines of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. An ultrasound scan is a diagnostic method which offers significant information about a patient’s condition in a painless, safe (radiation-free) and non-invasive manner, requiring no preparation on the part of the patient. The information it provides assists physicians in reaching a diagnosis.

Services

A wide range of exams are performed within the Department:

DIAGNOSTIC TESTS

The organs examined include the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidneys, spleen, retroperitoneal space, intestines and abdominal walls.

Frequent findings:

  • Liver: adipose tissue invasion, cysts, hemangiomas, abscesses, primary and metastatic tumors
  • Gallbladder: cholecystitis, gallstones
  • Pancreas: pancreatitis, primary tumors
  • Kidneys: cysts, pelvicalyceal stones, primary tumors, renal failure
  • Spleen: splenomegaly, ruptured spleen
  • Retroperitoneal space: aortic aneurysm, swollen lymph nodes
  • Intestines: appendicitis, diverticulitis, large primary bowel tumors
  • Abdominal walls: hernias (umbilical hernia, inguinal hernia), muscle hematomas, subcutaneous tissue lipomas

This scan examines the organs of the lower abdomen, and mainly the urinary bladder, uterus, ovaries and prostate.

Frequent findings:

  • Urinary bladder: papillomas, cystitis, stones
  • Uterus: fibromyomas, endometrial thickness
  • Ovaries: cysts and ovarian tumors
  • Fallopian tubes: visible only if swollen
  • Prostate: prostatic hyperplasia and urine residue (prostate cancer cannot be detected reliably via a lower abdominal ultrasound)

Further ultrasonic exploration of the lower abdominal organs can be achieved with a transvaginal or transanal ultrasound, which provide higher-resolution images.

The superficial organs that can be examined via ultrasound include the eyes, neck, muscles, breasts and testicles.

Frequent findings:

  • Eyes: retinal detachment, hematoma, extraocular muscle thickening
  • Neck:
    • Thyroid – thyroid nodules, goiter, thyroiditis, neoplasms
    • Parathyroids – parathyroid adenomas
    • Salivary glands (parotids, submandibular space) – inflammation, stones
    • Lymph nodes – examined in terms of shape and size, and distinguished into benign (inflammatory) and malignant
  • Breasts: cysts, fibroadenomas, neoplasms, inflammations (mastitis, abscesses)
  • Scrotum: inflammations (epididymis, orchitis), hematomas, neoplasms
  • Soft tissue (includes muscles and subcutaneous fat): hematomas, tendon tear, Baker’s cyst in the knee, ganglion cysts mainly in the wrist. Subcutaneous fat scans are used to examine lipomas and lymphedema.

A transvaginal ultrasound provides high-resolution imaging of the uterus and ovaries. It assists in the detection of uterine and ovarian conditions with greater accuracy. These may include fbromyomas, endometrial thickness, polyps, ovarian cysts (mainly their wall thickness and content), fallopian tube swelling and ectopic pregnancy.

A transanal ultrasound provides high-resolution imaging for prostate examination. It offers a detailed image of the size of the prostate gland. However, this method is not highly accurate in detecting prostate cancer. This exam also offers the possibility of performing guided fine-needle biopsies.

A color ultrasound (Doppler) assists in depicting the blood flow in vessels, such as the aorta, carotids, renal arteries, veins, and lower and upper limb arteries.

Main findings:

  • Arteries: detection of atheromatous disease and extent of arterial stenosis (carotids, aorta, renal arteries and lower limb arteries), as well as detection of abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • Veins: venous insufficiency in the lower limbs, varice detection, vein thrombosis. An ultrasound scan may also be used to examine arteriovenous malformation, arteriovenous communication, neoplasm perfusion, graft patency in patients who have undergone surgery or who are on dialysis (fistulas).

INTERVENTIONAL PROCEDURES

Ultrasound-guided fine needles can be used to collect cells (FNA) or tissue blocks (core biopsy) from various human body organs, such as the thyroid, lymph nodes, liver, kidneys and prostate. They may also be used for effusion apsiration, so as to achieve accurate diagnosis with the help of clinical pathologists, or to drain the effusion for treatment purposes.

Ultrasounds may also assist in draining abdominal or thoracic effusions. Furthermore, intravenous administration of contrast agent (SonoVue) in focal lesions, mainly of the liver, can assist in accurately distinguishing between benign and malignant tumors.

The use of elastography in superficial organs mainly, such the thyroid, breast and prostate, can help determine whether a lesion is soft or hard and proceed with the histological examination accordingly.

Medical Infrastructure & Technology

The Department is equipped with high-frequency transducers. Due to their high-resolution capabilities, they are used for detailed examination of superficial organs, such as the thyroid, eyes, testicles, breasts and soft tissue.

Specially designed transducers may also be inserted in body cavities, such as the anus or vagina, allowing high-resolution imaging of the prostate, uterus and ovaries.

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