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Hum Reprod. 2005 Feb;20(2):497-500. Epub 2004 Dec 23.

Measurement of the speed of sound in follicular fluid.

Author information

1
Medical Vision Laboratory, Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PJ, UK. gooding@robots.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Measurement of ovarian follicles by ultrasound is common practice in fertility treatment. However, the effect of the speed of sound is not taken into account. We present results from a study aimed at measuring this.

METHODS:

The speed of sound was measured in samples of follicular fluid aspirated from patients undergoing fertility treatment. The transmitted and received pulses from a single element ultrasound transducer were recorded using a digital oscilloscope for a pulse passed through a sample of the fluid. The distance over which the pulse travelled was known from calibration with pure water. Variation with temperature was investigated in the range 25-45 degrees C. Dependence on ultrasound frequency, patient and time from aspiration were also investigated.

RESULTS:

The speed of sound in follicular fluid was found to be 1550+/-3 m/s at 37.3 degrees C using 5.0 MHz ultrasound. The speed varied from 1528+/-3 m/s at 24.8 degrees C to 1561+/-3 m/s at 44.8 degrees C. Variation with patient, time and frequency were not detected.

CONCLUSION:

The speed of sound in follicular fluid at body temperature is 1550 m/s. This small difference from the speed assumed by the ultrasound machine corresponds to the systematic bias in volume measurement evident in previously published results.

PMID:
15618259
DOI:
10.1093/humrep/deh591
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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