If I am pregnant, how will an ultrasound affect my baby?
The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine has issued a response to this question:
In Vitro Biological Effects
It is often difficult to evaluate reports of ultrasonically induced in vitro biological effects with respect to their clinical significance. An in vitro effect can be regarded as a real biological effect. However, the predominant physical and biological interactions and mechanisms involved in an in vitro effect may not pertain to the in vivo situation. Results from in vitro experiments suggest new endpoints and serve as a basis for design of in vivo experiments. In vitro studies provide the capability to control experimental variables that may not be controllable in vivo and thus offer a means to explore and evaluate specific mechanisms and test hypotheses. Although they may have limited applicability to in vivo biological effects, such studies can disclose fundamental intercellular or intracellular effects of ultrasound. While it is valid for authors to place their results in context and to suggest further relevant investigations, reports which do more than that should be viewed with caution.
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