Is Prenatal Sonography Safe? Ep.1: Shortcomings in Epidemiology

This video is a review of what science currently understands about the safety of prenatal ultrasonography.

The short version: medicine does not yet fully understand how ultrasound affects the body, and there has been little research into it. When a practitioner tells you that sonography is perfectly harmless/completely safe, that is not backed by scientific evidence.

Considering that almost every woman in the world gets an ultrasound (or more) during pregnancy, this is unacceptable.

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Prenatal exposure to ultrasound waves: is there a risk?

Prenatal exposure to ultrasound waves: is there a risk?

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/uog.3983/full

Written as a retort to the Yale study by Ang, et all in 2006 which detected brain growth abnormalities after ultrasonic exposure…

These fellows discuss some of the dissimilarities between the Ang study using mice and actual prenatal conditions. Although it is true that the Ang study’s results are not perfectly linear, such can be expected from such a study.

Of note:
* Ang noted ultrasound to cause brain growth problems at intensities an order of magnitude or so lower than modern intensities. (meaning modern prenatal ultrasound is stronger, and may have more impact)

* The thermal and mechanical indices are not great guestimations, meaning that US scanners do not accurately report risks.

* Rats are not perfect models for human brains.

I have a comment about some of the response, too. In this paper they discuss later-trimester fetal skulls to be stronger — while it is true that they do become more developed, the fetal skull is pretty soft, still.

In fact, it has similar acoustic indices as water. Adult skulls that are well ossified are much better acoustic absorbers.

I also found it interesting that Republican Joe Pennacchio had attempted to introduce legislation into the investigation of ultrasound and autism.

These are not new concerns.

Dr. Sarah Buckley, safety concerns about prenatal sonography, published in 2005

Dr. Sarah Buckley, safety concerns about prenatal sonography, published in 2005

http://www.sarahbuckley.com/ultrasound-scans-cause-for-concern/

Dr. Sarah Buckley, MD, created this website back in 2005. To summarize: studies estimate 99% of Australians, 70% of North American pregnancies involve prenatal ultrasound…why? It is very risky. Using it as a screening tool for abnormalities is exposing a majority of the population and this is dangerous.

I agree.. it’s a problem that is mostly propagated because of business success. Every individual mother is going to want baby pictures, making it a viral market. With the advent of social media pictures are self advertising treasures.

Yet, not enough research has been done to prove that they are safe yet. Research takes a lot of time, especially when there is no fountain of money just waiting.

There have been many side effects discovered in animal models, but ethics issues preclude human studies. So the safety assessments released have concluded safety based on lack of evidence.

The side effects discovered already urgently demand further attention… more research is required. Consider reblogging this message because more people need to know about these risks. Apparently the message didn’t get out in 2005.

Our future generation’s health is seriously called to question here.

SpikeTV show Manswers features ultrasound for male contraception, good laughs for me.

Transcript
00:00:03 To find out how to dilute a man’s knock-up sauce without permanent damage, we asked the doctor.
00:00:09 – If men are engaging in unprotected sex, they might want to be temporarily infertile.
00:00:15 announcer: SO How can they do that?
00:00:17 A man could try blasting his sack with an ultrasound machine.
00:00:21 According to the university of north carolina, zapping a bro’s crotch with ultrasound waves for just ten minutes could kill his sperm for up to six months!
00:00:31 But there’s a catch.
00:00:32 Hitting some high notes on his tweeter can close his sperm tube permanently.
00:00:37 both: AH!

http://livedash.ark.com/transcript/manswers/7038/SPIKEP/Thursday_March_03_2011/566461/

http://www.spike.com/episodes/zpkozq/manswers-helicopter-love-and-dog-remains-season-4-ep-410

I saw this recently on SpikeTV and it had me cracking up hard enough that I had to share it.

I visited the ultrasound labs at UNC Chapel Hill personally and met several people who worked there.  I am concerned that ultrasound use on gonads would change hormone levels in adults.  In the literature, there is evidence that ultrasound exposure to rat gonads alters their testosterone levels … reference: http://revistas.um.es/hh/article/viewFile/130341/121361

Brain cancer? Mental illness? Ultrasound offers hope for new, better cures.

Brain cancer?  Mental illness?  Ultrasound offers hope new, better cures.. :)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3563154/

We can only use 5% of all the types of medicine available for treating brain diseases. Psychiatric problems, brain cancers, etc. .. all notoriously difficult to treat because medicine can’t even get to the brain in the first place.

A structure called the blood brain barrier protects it.

A few decades ago, it was first discovered that when ultrasound is used following injection of tiny silica bubbles into the blood stream, that the bubbles jiggle around just right to cut tiny holes in the barrier.

The holes are microns in diameter. They are small enough to not cause serious damage, and heal up in 48 hours.

Not large enough to cause harm, but large enough to get medicine through …

They recently dusted off the old books and started optimizing this technique to make it available for human use.

Sounds like a great start!!