6. Essential Ultrasound Artifacts

Side lobe Artifact

Side lobe artifact occurs when the beam of an off-axis side lobe encounters a structure and returns this off-axis object as coming from the main beam. This creates a duplicate structure on the screen but in a different area.

In the example below, it seems like there is a moving structure in the left atrium, but it is actually a side lobe artifact resulting from the mitral valve leaflet. This is important because oftentimes these side lobe artifacts may be mistaken for clots or foreign bodies. It is always a good habit to get multiple views to confirm that what you are seeing is artifact versus pathology.

Ultrasound Side Lobe Artifact
Ultrasound Side Lobe Artifact (adapted from Feldman)
Ultrasound Side Lobe Artifact - Mitral Valve
Ultrasound Side Lobe Artifact of Mitral Valve in Left Atrium

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