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3D ultrasound is a medical ultrasound technique used during pregnancy, providing three dimensional images of the fetus. Often these images are captured rapidly and animated to produce a "4D ultrasound".3D ultrasound works similarly to the traditional ultrasound except that the ultrasound waves are directed from multiple angles. The waves are reflected back and captured and together provide enough information to construct a 3-dimensional image in much the same way as 3D movies. 3D Ultrasound was first developed by Olaf von Ramm and Stephen Smith at Duke University in 1987 [http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4694434.html].The 3D/4D ultrasound imaging should utilize ultrasound energy subject to the same limits as conventional (2D) ultrasound to create the 3D images. If the system is used only in the Obstetrics Application, the ultrasound energy is limited by the manufacturer below FDA limits for obstetrical ultrasound, whether scanning 2, 3 or 4 Dimensionally. (The FDA limit for obstetrical ultrasound is 94 mW/cm2.) While there is no hard evidence for harmful effects of 3D/4D ultrasound, its use in non-medical situations should be undertaken with the understanding that a risk may exist.
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