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Sonogram vs. Ultrasound: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on January 5, 2024
A sonogram is an image produced by ultrasound, while ultrasound is the technology that uses sound waves to create images of the inside of the body.

Key Differences

A sonogram is the visual image produced from the sound waves generated during an ultrasound procedure. Conversely, ultrasound refers to the actual technology and process that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of structures inside the body.
Sonograms are the end product, the images used by medical professionals to diagnose and monitor conditions. Ultrasound, however, is the method or procedure of using sound waves to generate these diagnostic images.
In a sonogram, the quality and clarity of the image depend on various factors such as the machine's quality and the technician's skill. In ultrasound, the focus is on the technique of emitting sound waves and capturing their echoes to form an image.
Sonograms are primarily used for examining internal organs, monitoring pregnancy, and diagnosing conditions. Ultrasound is the broader term encompassing the entire process, including the equipment, procedure, and the expertise required to interpret the sound waves.
It's a common misconception to use the terms sonogram and ultrasound interchangeably. A sonogram is the result (the image), while ultrasound is the process of imaging.

Comparison Chart


An image produced from ultrasound
A method using sound waves for imaging


Diagnostic tool (e.g., image of a fetus)
Process to create images (e.g., scanning)

Technical Focus

Quality of image
Sound wave technology and technique

Professional Interpretation

Analyzed by healthcare providers
Performed by ultrasound technicians

Common Usage

Referred as results of a scan
Referred as the scanning process

Sonogram and Ultrasound Definitions


A sonogram is a medical image created using ultrasound technology.
The doctor showed me the baby's heartbeat on the sonogram.


Ultrasound is a medical imaging technique using high-frequency sound waves.
The doctor scheduled an ultrasound to examine the abdominal pain.


Sonogram: an image generated by bouncing sound waves off tissues and organs.
The sonogram showed the kidney's condition clearly.


Ultrasound: a non-invasive diagnostic tool using sound waves for internal imaging.
The cardiac ultrasound revealed a minor irregularity in the heartbeat.


A sonogram is a picture used for diagnostic purposes, produced by ultrasound waves.
The sonogram indicated a healthy development of the fetus.


Ultrasound refers to the sound wave technology used for diagnostic imaging.
An ultrasound was performed to check the baby's health.


Sonogram refers to the visual output of an ultrasound scan.
The sonogram revealed the gender of the unborn baby.


Ultrasound, a method of capturing live images inside the body without incision.
The ultrasound showed a clear picture of the liver.


Sonogram, a visual representation of a region inside the body captured through ultrasound.
Her sonogram showed twins.


Ultrasound, a technique utilizing sound waves to generate internal body images.
The vascular ultrasound helped in detecting the blood clot.


An image, as of a fetus in utero or an internal body organ, produced by ultrasonography. Also called sonograph, ultrasonogram.


Ultrasonic sound.


A medical image produced by ultrasound echo


The use of ultrasonic waves for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes, specifically to image an internal body structure, monitor a developing fetus, or generate localized deep heat to the tissues.


A spectrogram


An image produced by ultrasound.


To perform a sonogram upon.


(physics) Sound with a frequency greater than the upper limit of human hearing, which is approximately 20 kilohertz.


An image of a structure that is produced by ultrasonography (reflections of high-frequency sound waves); used to observe fetal growth or to study bodily organs


(medicine) The use of ultrasonic waves for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.


(ambitransitive) To treat with ultrasound.


Very high frequency sound; used in ultrasonography


Using the reflections of high-frequency sound waves to construct an image of a body organ (a sonogram); commonly used to observe fetal growth or study bodily organs


What is a sonogram?

A sonogram is an image produced from an ultrasound scan.

Is a sonogram the same as an ultrasound?

No, a sonogram is the image result of an ultrasound procedure.

Can ultrasound be used for full-body scans?

Ultrasound is typically used for specific areas, not full-body scans.

How does ultrasound work?

Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the inside of the body.

Are sonograms only used during pregnancy?

No, sonograms are used for various medical diagnoses, not just pregnancy.

Can sonograms detect cancer?

Sonograms can help in detecting tumors, which may be cancerous.

Is ultrasound technology improving?

Yes, advances in technology are continually enhancing ultrasound imaging.

Is ultrasound safe?

Yes, ultrasound is considered a safe and non-invasive diagnostic tool.

Does ultrasound use radiation?

No, ultrasound does not use ionizing radiation like X-rays.

Do I need a doctor's referral for an ultrasound?

Yes, a doctor's referral is usually required for an ultrasound.

Are sonograms used in heart examinations?

Yes, echocardiograms are sonograms of the heart.

Is there any preparation required for an ultrasound?

Preparation varies depending on the type of ultrasound, like fasting or full bladder.

Can ultrasound detect blood flow?

Yes, Doppler ultrasound is used to assess blood flow in vessels.

Can ultrasound help in surgical procedures?

Yes, ultrasound can guide certain surgical procedures.

How long does an ultrasound take?

Ultrasound procedures typically take 30 minutes to an hour.

Can sonograms be kept as a record?

Yes, sonograms can be printed or stored digitally for records.

Can anyone interpret a sonogram?

No, it requires a trained professional to accurately interpret a sonogram.

Are there any risks with sonograms?

Sonograms are generally safe with no known harmful effects.

Are there different types of sonograms?

Yes, sonograms vary based on the scanned body part, such as abdominal, pelvic, or cardiac.

How accurate are sonograms?

The accuracy of sonograms can vary based on the equipment, technician's skill, and the area being examined.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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