The Difference Between 2D, 3D, 4D and HD Live Ultrasound

What exactly is Ultrasound?

Ultrasound is the use of high frequency sound waves to generate a picture based on the return echo of the tissue that is being imaged. This technology is very similar to radar. Ultrasound does not utilize radiation. Extensive studies over 30 years have found that ultrasound is safe. It has not been shown to cause any harm to mother or baby. Routine scanning of all pregnancies is now normal throughout the United States. In 3D/4D scanning, exactly the same type and intensity of ultrasound is used as with conventional 2D scanning. In terms of exposure, 3D, HD LIVE and 4D ultrasound will be similar to a diagnostic 2D scan with your doctor.

In 3D Ultrasound, the ultrasound probe sends out high frequency sound waves while the sonographer is scanning in 2D. The probe then receives the return echo after it has reverberated off of the structure being imaged. The 3D software within the ultrasound machine utilizes the information from the return echo to generate a 3D rendering of the structure of interest; i.e.: your baby’s face!

“What is HD Live Ultrasound,” you ask? HD Live takes that very same information collected during 3D rendering. The difference is that HD Live displays the image using a different, more life-like light source. HD Live images are made up of pink and flesh tone colors verses the sepia you will see with standard 3D ultrasound imaging. Certain details are visualized slightly differently from 3D to HD Live.

On to 4D Ultrasound! 4D ultrasound is 3D ultrasound updated in real time. 4D, therefore is basically a movie of your baby moving around in 3D! Ever heard of 5D? 5D ultrasound is simply 4D in HD Live technology!

Beautiful and clear 3D/4D images of your baby, especially baby’s face, are often seen on a third trimester ultrasound. Good 3D/4D imaging requires a co-operative baby and adequate amniotic fluid in front of the structure being imaged. Some babies press against the wall of the uterus or placenta, or they may have their arms or hands lying in front of the face. This will make obtaining 3D/4D images difficult. It is good for parents to anticipate seeing their growing baby, but not to be too disappointed if the 3D/4D images prove difficult or the images of baby’s face are impossible to get. Every effort will be made to obtain the highest quality pictures for you and your family to cherish for years to come!