Courtesy of Dr Ourania Varsou and Miss Zainab M.R. Al Lawati, this ultrasound scan image shows the hyperechoic spinous process (SP) and laminae (L) of a lumbar vertebrae with an acoustic shadow below the bony structures. The echogenicity of the surrounding area represents soft tissue. The scans were acquired with a linear probe recently funded via the Spark Funder campaign “Pocket-Sized Ultrasound Machine“.
Believe it or not, the image above and video below (both acquired while scanning in the horizontal plane) are not from a human volunteer but from custom-made training phantoms developed by Miss Al Lawati under the supervision of Dr Varsou at the University of Glasgow. These phantoms are composed entirely of non-human and non-animal material and they are a great training aid in terms of becoming familiar with the anatomy of the lumbar area and, hence, assisting with clinical procedures such as lumbar punctures.