E1046. Utilizing 3D Printing and Phantoms to Teach the Basic Principles and Pitfalls of Ultrasound
  1. Patricia Garcia; University of Limerick
  2. Peter MacAnena; University Hospital Limerick
  3. Jennifer Ni Mhuircheartaigh; University of Limerick
Ultrasound (US) is an operator-dependent imaging technique; thus, teaching this skill is critical to radiology education. Ensuring adequate training is essential to patient safety and quality assurance in clinical practice. Those trained in US are keenly aware of the many pitfalls of US imaging. US physics and related artefacts are covered comprehensively in the Diagnostic Radiology curriculum; however, modern education emphasizes alternate approaches to teaching, including hands-on practical sessions. US phantoms are used to teach biopsy techniques, but little literature exists on the use of phantoms to teach US basic principles.

Educational Goals / Teaching Points
To simulate commonly encountered US limitations and artefacts, we created gelatin-based US phantoms with embedded objects made from 3D-printed molds, allowing students to experience them in real-time. The embedded objects demonstrated concepts such as relative echogenicity, the importance of imaging an object in multiple planes, mirror image artefact, increased acoustic through-transmission, and shadowing.

Key Anatomic/Physiologic Issues and Imaging Findings/Techniques
Ultrasound phantom embedded objects were able to successfully simulate the fundamentals of US imaging as well as commonly encountered artifacts. Representative scans of these phantoms will be presented to confirm their utility in demonstrating these concepts.

Ultrasound imaging is fraught with challenges related to technical performance and image artifacts. The inclusion of a phantom model to demonstrate these concepts should be considered when teaching ultrasonography, particularly where there is limited scope and experience.