Acoustic shadowing

Last revised by William Howden on 7 Mar 2023

Acoustic shadowing (sometimes referred to as posterior acoustic shadowing) is a form of ultrasound artifact. It is characterized by the apparent lack of signal deep to an imaged tissue interface, due to all (or nearly all) of the transmitted sound wave being being reflected back to the transducer or absorbed by the tissue. It commonly occurs when an area of interest contains a high Z/solid tissue (e.g. calcified gallstone or bone) or at an interface with high acoustic impedance mismatch (e.g. soft tissue/air).

See also

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: cholelithiasis - acoustic shadowing
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  • Case 3: renal calculus - acoustic shadowing
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  • Case 4: foreign body in foot - thorn
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  • Case 5: Gas in colonic diverticulum
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  • Case 6: Intraluminal GB gas and pneumobilia
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