• Liver ultrasound scans.

      Mortimore, Gerri; Mayes, JP; University of Derby (Mark Allen Group, 2019)
      Ultrasound scans can be used in a variety of settings to examine internal organs, muscle, joints, tendons and lesions or to monitor foetal growth and development during pregnancy. Ultrasound, is arguably the most frequently requested form of imaging especially within the gastroenterology department. However, to elucidate a cause of abdominal pain, distension, jaundice, abnormal liver function tests; abdominal ultrasound is one of the easiest, quick and cost-effective ways to do so. In addition, ultrasound can assist the practitioner to rule out other considered differential diagnoses. Since the advent of advanced clinical practitioner roles, nurses are increasingly taking on advanced clinical roles within the field of gastroenterology. With these advanced roles, nurses and other allied health professionals, can act autonomously in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients, which includes the ability to order different tests and investigations, which can comprise of radiological and ultrasound requests. However, it is not just the ordering and requesting of radiological and ultrasound scans, but the requirement to understand the scan report and the ability to deal with the findings in an appropriate and timely fashion, that is vital for improving patient care. This article will focus on abdominal ultrasound, with emphasis on liver ultrasound scans. It will discuss what an ultrasound scan is, and some of the terminology used in liver ultrasound reports. In addition, it will compare ultrasound images of normal liver to abnormal and explore the importance of background information which should be presented on the request form, to aid the sonographer or radiologist in their interpretation of the scan.