This guide is written to try and consolidate suggestions on how to adjust the settings on an ultrasound machine to try and optimize the quality of images that are acquired. Reading the page on the fundamentals of ultrasound studies may be a good primer for this page.
ADJUST BRIGHTNESS SETTINGS
In the beginning it can be an important first step to set the brightness on the ultrasound machine. The goal should be for the bottom of the grey scale bar to be completely black, and for the top of the bar to be white, but not too over-saturated.
PICK YOUR PROBE
There are more then one type of ultrasound probes…
TRY OUT PRESETS
Many machines have their own individual types of presets. It is a good idea to try out different ones to see what might work well for your purposes.
ADJSUT THE GAIN CONTROL
The gain knob is an important setting to know. It will adjust the overall brightness of the image. Gain is responsible for amplifying the signal that is picked up by the ultrasound probe (essentially it amplifies the sound waves that echo back to the probe). The HIGHER this setting is the MORE AMPLIFIED these signals will be. This results in creating an ultrasound image that is brighter (because the strength of each signal increases).
ADJSUT THE “TIME GAIN COMPENSATION” (TGC) CONTROLS
The TGC controls are very similar to the gain control, however they have the extra consideration of time. Threre are multiple settings (one for each time point) that will change how the signal is amplified depending on how long the signal takes to return to the probe (which is a proxy for how far away the object is from the probe).
Generally speaking TGC probes that deal with the region that is close to the probe should be decreased slightly (less signal amplification is needed for nearby structures) and they can be increased for regions that are far away from the probe (further objects may require more signal amplification).
SETTING THE ULTRASOUND FOCUS POSITION/FOCAL ZONES
The Ultrasound Imaging Guide is a good resource to further read up on this topic.
Page Updated: 01.23.2017