In situ human obstetrical ultrasound exposimetry: Estimates of derating factors for each of three different tissue models

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A specialized in vivo exposimetry system was developed to acquire transabdominal in situ ultrasound exposure quantities in obstetric patients. Under surgical conditions, the sterilized 7-element calibrated linear array hydrophone was introduced into the uterus under direct ultrasound guidance and placed in direct contact with the products of conception, usually in the saggital midplane of the uterine cavity. Twenty-five patients with empty bladders and 10 patients with full bladders were studied at gestational ages between 7 and 20 weeks. In the empty bladder condition, the sound beam traversed the anterior abdominal wall, uterus, amniotic fluid and fetal parts and in the full bladder condition, the sound beam also traversed the fluid-filled bladder. Each study was conducted with a 3 MHz, mechanical sector transducer in combination with an ATL Ultramark 4 diagnostic ultrasound imaging system. Calibration data were recorded after completion of each in vivo patient study. The acquired exposimetry data from the 35 obstetric patients were used to evaluate the appropriateness of three tissue attenuation models, viz., fixed path, homogeneous and overlying. All three tissue models yield a mean attenuation coefficient value of about a factor of 3 to 4 greater than their respective minimum values. In the case of the overlying and homogeneous tissue models, there was a statistically significant correlation between their calculated attenuation coefficients and total distance for the combined data set whereas there was no such dependency for the calculated fixed-path tissue model. In summary, any one of the three tissue models may be used to estimate in utero acoustic quantities during the first and second trimesters of human pregnancy based on this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-391
Number of pages13
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioeffects
  • Derating factor
  • Dosimetry
  • Exposimetry
  • In situ exposimetry
  • In utero exposimetry
  • In vivo exposimetry
  • Obstetrics
  • Tissue modeling
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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