Human in situ dosimetry: Differential insertion loss during passage through abdominal wall and myometrium

Tariq A. Siddiqi, William D. O'Brien, Richard A. Meyer, Joan M. Sullivan, Menachem Miodovnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We constructed a specialized in vivo exposimetry system and determined selected ultrasonic field quantities. We examined two groups of non-pregnant women (nulliparas = 14, multiparas = 9) under conditions of full and empty bladder. A calibrated 7-element linear array hydrophone was placed in the anterior fornix of the vagina in each subject. In the full bladder condition, the sound beam traversed the anterior abdominal wall and full bladder, whereas after voiding, the sound beam traversed the abdominal wall and anteverted uterine fundus. Each study was conducted using a 3.5 MHz mechanical sector transducer. Calibration data were recorded after completion of each in vivo experiment. Data from both groups were pooled for analysis. Assuming (1) the sound path through the full bladder is loss less, the insertion loss (ILFULL) should represent the insertion loss for the abdominal wall (ILABD WALL) 8.2 ± 5.6 dB; whereas (2) for the empty bladder condition, (ILEMPTY) represents (ILABD WALL + ILUTERUS). Subtracting ILFULL from ILEMPTY yields ILUTERUS = 5.8 ± 6.8 dB. Therefore, knowing the respective path lengths and normalizing for frequency, the mean tissue attenuation coefficients (A) are estimated to be ILABD WALL = 1.39 dB/cm-MHz and AUTERUS = 0.14 dB/cm-MHz. These attenuation data suggest that the abdominal wall is the principal source of ultrasonic energy loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)681-689
Number of pages9
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1992


  • Exposimetry
  • In situ
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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