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Because abdominal ultrasonography is often performed with the footprint of the transducer in an intercostal space, most imaging of the abdomen is performed with the transducer oriented in a slightly oblique transverse plane image (slicing across the long axis of the body), with the probe marker “up”—toward the dorsal aspect of the patient (FIGURE 1a).
The probe position marker is displayed on the monitor, alongside the captured image, to orient the ultrasonographer to the displayed image relative to the patient (FIGURE 1b).
The smaller footprint of sector scanners fits well between ribs, making rotation of the probe less cumbersome than with other types of transducers.
Coupling gel should be applied liberally to the imaging area.
If clipping the hair is not an option, removing haircoat debris with grooming aides and soaking the hair with isopropyl alcohol often suffice.
For example, if the orientation marker on the transducer is dorsal (relative to the patient) to obtain a transverse plane and if the ultrasound machine normally displays the orientation mark in the upper left corner of the displayed image, the ultrasonographer immediately knows that the left side of the on-screen image represents the dorsal aspect (FIGURE 1b).
Although the transducer works perfectly well if it is flipped 180° in the transverse plane on the patient, the left side of the projected image on the monitor will represent the ventral aspect of that slice, and the part of the image that previously appeared on the left side of the image (FIGURE 1b) will appear on the right side, representing the dorsal edge (FIGURE 1c).