Difference Between Sonogram and Ultrasound (With Table)

For common people not greatly well-versed with typical medical terms, the words sonogram and ultrasound have been used interchangeably very often. Even though the two terms are closely related to each other, both of them do not exactly mean the same, literally.

To start with, both the terms are associated with the same exam or test per se, owing to the huge conundrum with respect to their exact meanings. However, they have a quite literal and noticeable difference between them.

Sonogram vs Ultrasound

The main difference between Sonogram and Ultrasound is that a sonogram refers to the image produced by a process which is called ultrasound. In simple words, sonogram does not refer to the process itself, but is the exact outcome of another process, commonly confused with the same, ultrasound. An ultrasound, as is evident, is a process; it is a type of imaging test, whose end result is a sonogram.

In simple words, Sonogram, also called sound writing, is the output produced by Ultrasound, which is also called diagnostic sonography. This technology is greatly useful in determining the infections or diseases in the internal parts of the body, largely including internal organs and tissues.


Comparison Table Between Sonogram and Ultrasound (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of Comparison




A Sonogram refers to a visual image produced, that is the end result of another process.

Ultrasound is the procedure of using soundwaves to create images of the internal body.

Result vs Process

A Sonogram is the end result of Ultrasound.

Ultrasound, on the other hand, is a procedure to create sonograms.

Relation to Sonography

Sonogram is the visual image produced through sonography.

Sonography is performed using an ultrasound tool.


Sonogram helps in evaluating organs for infections, damage or disease and in case of pregnancy, to generate images of the foetus.

Ultrasound helps the doctors to get sonograms and thus insights into the inner working of a human’s body for diagnostic purposes.

Alternatively called

It is alternatively translated to be called ‘sound writing’.

It is alternatively called ‘Diagnostic Sonography’.


What is Sonogram?

A Sonogram is a visual image produced by a process of ultrasound and it uses the sound waves to generate the picture. The pictures are produced owing to the fact that the sound waves reflect and bounce back once they hit a surface.

To go into detail, the tighter and harder the surface is, the more the sound waves bounce back. For instance, sound waves easily pass through fluids and thus they will present a completely black picture when the come in contact with urine, water or other liquids.

Moreover, upon hitting a tissue, they are bound to portray a greyish or whitish picture, directly depending on the intensity of the sound waves. And, when they hit tremendously dense tissues or harder substances like the bones or the kidneys, it is obvious for them to present a brightening white spot in the picture.

Sonograms have been greatly useful in the field of medicine lately. They’ve played a major role in providing basis for evaluation of internal organs of the body and determine and eventually cure the infections or diseases caused in the internal organs or soft tissues in the body.


What is Ultrasound?

Ultrasound is a process that makes use of sound waves to generate sonograms. In other words, it is an imaging test in the field of medicine. They do not make use of harmful radiations, rather put into use high-frequency sound waves, which are neither harmful nor painful.

When the sound waves bounce back, they generate electrical signals which a computer translates in order to produce images of various tissues and internal organs. Ultrasounds are either performed with a transducer put on the surface of the skin or inserted into one of the natural openings of the body in order to get a better picture.

The special transducer insertion into the body could mainly be done in three ways: a ultrasound, involving placing the transducer, a transrectal ultrasound, involving placing the transducer, or transoesophageal echocardiogram, which involves placing the transducer in the oesophagus.

Ultrasound is mainly put to use to help diagnose the problems pertaining to the internal organs and the soft tissues of the body and is also greatly known for being able to confirm and monitor pregnancy.

Main Differences Between Sonogram and Ultrasound

Even though Sonogram and Ultrasound are related to the similar process, the terms, in themselves, differ in their meanings and scope.

It is easy to understand the difference between these two terms by taking into account the fact that one is a process and the other an outcome of the process.

  1. A sonogram is a visual image which is the outcome of the process of Ultrasound.
  2. Ultrasound involves the usage of soundwaves to generate electrical signals which later on are converted into visual pictures, called sonograms, by a computer.
  3. Ultrasound is useful in being able to see the pictures of the internal body, which will ultimately help in diagnosing diseases and infections to cure, from its outcome called Sonograms.
  4. Ultrasound is performed through a system including computer, monitor, printer and a handheld transducer while the sonograms are created using the electrical signals by the computer only.
  5. Ultrasound is a delicate process using different instruments like transducer etc., whereas sonograms are visual pictures and can also be printed in a physical format.



Sonogram and Ultrasound, commonly misused in each other’s places, are a part of the same process. However, the terms, in themselves have two very separate meanings. To think of them as typical medical terms and eliminating the need to understand them would be a mistake.

This is because these techniques are largely used in the current medical system and take place very often, thus making it important for every common man to know and understand them, in case they go for such test.

We need to understand that these technologies have been devised to aid us and the medical system in finding cures for more technical and strategical diseases.



  1. https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/sonogram/
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/ultrasound.html