Common Ultrasound Artefacts

In the context of clinical imaging, artefacts are appearances within the image that do not correspond directly to the reality of structures within the patient. Appearances and relationships of real structures can be misrepresented, misplaced or absent and spurious appearances can be generated within the image that simply do not have any true anatomical correlate. For example:

Ring down artifact

This image shows a Ring down artifact caused by resonance of a small gas bubble. it is similar to reverberation artifact and can be eliminated by reangling the probe.

However, artefacts are not always undesirable. Some pathological lesions are often recognised and characterised by the artefacts they produce. To help distinguish between ‘normal’ and true pathological appearances, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of how ultrasound artefacts originate. For example:

Staghorn calculus

This image shows acoustic shadowing distal to a
staghorn calculus.