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Ultrasound in Clinical DiagnosisFrom pioneering developments in Lund to global application in medicine$
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Bo Eklöf, Kjell Lindström, and Stig Persson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199602070

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199602070.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2021

The development of echocardiography in Sweden

The development of echocardiography in Sweden

(p.8) Chapter 2 The development of echocardiography in Sweden
Ultrasound in Clinical Diagnosis

Stig Persson

Jan Eskilsson

Oxford University Press

Medical history is filled with innovations contributing to the continuous development of medical science, but some achievements may be thought of as real feats. One event which really deserves such a designation should be the introduction of ultrasound in medical diagnosis. This is a real example of creative thinking that cut across scientific borders and which required a lot of careful and time-consuming work with equipment of initially very primitive standards. As described by Håkan westling in the first chapter of this book, it all started in the late 1940s when the young Swedish cardiologist Inge Edler started to take an interest in techniques used during world war II. The account of the very first course of events differ, however, in small details from what I learnt when Edler himself gave me his version. His general aim was to investigate if it would be possible to turn any of the horrors of the war to something positive in the service of mankind. It is true that his first idea was intended for radar and that he got in contact with the physicist Hellmuth Hertz to get advice. when Hertz had judged the idea as unrealistic — the wavelength of radar would not permit a resolution necessary for the visualization of human organs — Edler became interested in the hunt for submarines in the North Sea, where ultrasound was used for detection and as a tool for directing the torpedoes against the right target. Again, he got in touch with Hertz who had recently studied the basics of ultrasound and who immediately realized that it would be a good idea to test it in medical diagnosis. The description of the testing of an ultrasound reflectoscope from Kockum’s shipyard in Malmo, Sweden, in May 1953 and another one from Siemens-Reiniger-werke in west Germany during the autumn of the same year coincides with westling’s report. It is really fascinating to see how human creativity may convert technical equipment originally meant for industrial, non-destructive detection of flaws in materials to the use for diagnosis of defects in the human body.

Keywords:   aortic valve examination, mitral stenosis, mitral valve (MV) examination, pericardial effusion, phased array systems, transducers

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