Public Release:  Sonography in space

SAGE Publications

Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC (November 20, 2008) Astronauts on extended space missions can get injured or develop diseases, necessitating immediate diagnosis and treatment. Research conducted on the International Space Station (ISS) ensuring that astronauts could accurately perform remotely-guided sonograms was published in the November/December 2008 issue of the Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (published by SAGE).

In 2001, NASA integrated a Sonography (ultrasound) machine into the Health Research Facility on the International Space Station. In the study, a ground-to-space two-way communication system was set up between the astronauts and the radiologists at Mission Control and the operating astronauts were guided in performing sonograms for trauma, as well as ocular and musculoskeletal exams. The research found that Sonography examinations were successfully performed within that microgravity environment.

The astronauts in the study were introduced to the basics of Sonography and then the radiologists provided real time guidance while scanning to aid in successful acquisition of the images. The study found that the astronauts operating the system were able to identify and image normal anatomy.

"NASA's intent to prove that remotely guided sonograms could work within a microgravity environment was achieved," writes author Kendell Cole. "As more trial sonograms are conducted on the ISS, NASA may push the bounds of Sonography and uncover other potential uses. There are sure to be many more trial sonograms to be conducted in space, but it is amazing to consider that eventually, a Sonography machine may reside on Mars."

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The Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography article, "Sonography's Expansion Into Space," written by Kendell Cole, BSRT, of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and Midwest Regional Medical Center, is free for a limited time at http://jdm.sagepub.com/cgi/rapidpdf/8756479308327062v1.

The Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography publishes the latest practical and research applications of diagnostic ultrasound. Advances in the newest hardware/software technologies and equipment are reviewed and thought-provoking case reports are presented. Through its dynamic features, the bimonthly journal helps sonographers reliably image and integrate complex information while challenging them to keep their professional skills sharp. http://jdm.sagepub.com/

SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology, and medicine. An independent company, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC. www.sagepublications.com

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