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Plastic Surgical Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/PSN.0000000000000031
Departments: Wound Care Management Department

Utility of High-Frequency Ultrasound: Moving Beyond the Surface to Detect Changes in Skin Integrity

Lucas, Valentina S. PhD, RN, ANP-BC; Burk, Ruth S. PhD, RN; Creehan, Sue BSN, RN, CWON; Grap, Mary Jo PhD, RN, FAAN

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Abstract

Ultrasound imaging is a versatile modality frequently used in clinical medicine, most likely due to its low cost, low risk to patients, and the ability to provide images in real time. Ultrasound used typically in clinical settings has frequencies between 2 and 12 MHz. Lower frequencies produce greater resolution but are limited in depth penetration; higher frequencies produce greater resolution, but depth of penetration is limited. High-frequency ultrasound (HFUS) shows promise for detection of certain changes in the skin and this has implications for early detection of changes associated with pressure ulcer formation and wound healing. The purpose of this article was to provide an overview of where HFUS has been used with the skin and provide some discussion on its utility with detecting skin changes related to pressure.

Copyright © 2014 by American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses

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