Ultrasound Biosafety During Pregnancy: What Do Operators Know in the Developing World? National Survey Findings From Pakistan

Document Type





Objectives:The Purpose of this study was to evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of ultrasound users toward safety aspects during routine obstetric examinations.


A self-administered questionnaire was given to all registered participants of the 10th Annual International Radiological Conference in Karachi, Pakistan.


A total of 306 participants completed the questionnaire (response rate, 70%), including 170 consultant radiologists (55%), 90 radiology residents (30%), 31 sonographers (10%), and 15 others (5%). The mean sonography experience of the end users (+/-) SD was 5.1 +/- 5 years. Around half of the participants (45.5%) reported that there should be limitations on the use of ultrasound during low-risk pregnancy. Overall, safety knowledge was inadequate among the participants. However, those who were concerned about limitations on the use of ultrasound during pregnancy were 2.5 times more likely to be familiar with the mechanical index (P < .001) and 1.8 times more likely to be familiar with the thermal index (P < .001). Conclusions: Increased training for professionals on safety issues of ultrasound procedures during pregnancy is needed. Furthermore, the concept of the absolute safety of ultrasound procedures without knowledge of safety parameters such as the mechanical and thermal indices needs to be changed, and more clarity is required when defining parameters under which the procedures can be safely performed.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine