SON5021 - Sonographic abdominal imaging - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Michal Schneider


Mr Paul Lombardo

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (Online)
  • Second semester 2019 (Online)


SON4000, SON4010.


Sonographic scanning methods and standard protocols related to examinations of adult liver, gallbladder, biliary system, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, urinary system, spleen, retroperitoneum, abdominal wall and related vascular structures. The scientific principles underpinning tissue harmonic imaging and use of contrast agents in abdominal sonography. Interpretational skills in respect to recognition of sonographic appearances of normal anatomy, anatomical variants, disease processes and ability to modify standard sonographic approaches with regards to the clinical question and patient presentation.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. identify, describe and justify the selection of protocols, imaging parameters, equipment and transducers for sonographic examinations of the upper abdomen;
  2. perform routine sonographic examinations of the upper abdomen safely and to a standard and ethical conduct expected of a competent sonographer:
  3. identify and describe normal and abnormal sonographic appearances of the organs and structures in the upper abdomen and related artefacts;
  4. recognise when modifications to routine scanning approaches are required and describe the limitations of ultrasound in regards to imaging the upper abdomen;
  5. implement Spectral, Colour and Power Doppler techniques where appropriate in upper abdominal ultrasound imaging;
  6. explain the application of contrast agents and tissue harmonic imaging in abdominal sonography, and describe and implement quality assurance principles in abdominal imaging.


Students must be actively engaged in supervised ultrasound clinical practice in the workplace for at least three days a week (or equivalent). It is the student's responsibility to secure a supervised ultrasound clinical placement in the workplace.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

  • Compulsory attainment of a requisite number of ultrasound examinations (Hurdle)
  • 2 x Assignments (1,500 words each) (30%)
  • Written examination (2 hours) (40%)
  • Image recognition examination (1 hour) (20%)
  • Clinical skills assessment (10%)

Requirement to obtain a pass: Students must obtain at least 50% of available marks overall and at least 50% of available marks in each of the written examination, and image recognition examination and clinical skills assessment. Hurdle requirements must be met.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study