In around 1964 Hans Henrik Holm at the Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen, had started his work on ultrasound diagnosis. His group had made rapid and pioneering progress in many areas of ultrasonography and had very soon developed a custom built B-scanner, the Gentofte scanner.

Holm, a urologist, learned of ultrasonic applications in medicine as a young urologist in the early 1960s. He borrowed a German Krautkramer ultrasonic instrument from a Danish industrial plant for the nondestructive testing of materials. Holm visited Helmuth Hertz in Lund and grasped the know-how in the use the A-mode device on human applications. He persuaded the Gentofte Hospital in 1964 to purchase a Physionics A-mode scanner for the urology department. Collaborating with Jorgen Kristensen, Jens Bang, Allen Northeved, Jan Pedersen and others, Holm began to study ultrasonic patterns of body organs, in abdominal, obstetrical and gynecological applications (with Jens Bang), echocardiographic studies and neurology.

Realizing the tremendously greater advantage of two-dimensional cross-sectional imaging over A-mode for most diagnostic purposes, Holm and engineer Allen Northeved developed their own B-mode scanner at the Gentofte laboratory, based on a modified Hewlett Packard ultrasound machine and a lightweight scanner arm similar to the design of the Physionics porta-arm scanner. In 1969 the group did its first ultrasonically guided puncture on a renal cyst, and reported on the work in a video presentation "Ultrasound in Renal Diagnosis," that they showed at the 1970 AIUM meeting. In 1973 the Holm group developed a transurethral scanner designed to fit into a cystoscope and with this equipment, Holm produced the first transurethral scans of the male bladder and of the prostate. In 1974 Jan Fog Pedersen of the Gentofte Hospital laboratory developed a technique for ultrasonically guided puncture using a linear array transducer. In 1975 the group published one of the earliest mechanical sector real-time scanners in the world, consisting of a continuously rotating wheel with radially-mounted transducers.

In 1968, Jens Bang and Hans Henrik Holm demonstrated fetal cardiac motion using M-mode ultrasound from 10 weeks onwards. Holm described aspiration of ovarian cysts in 1972. In the same year Bang and Northeved described ultrasound-assisted amniocentesis. In 1976, Bang described fetal cardiac anatomy using B-mode ultrasound, which was hitheto considerd a difficult task. In 1982, his team published an ultrasound-guided technique for intrauterine fetal transfusion, and in 1983 a technique for obtaining fetal blood via fetal cardiac puncture. In 1984, Steen Smidt-Jensen and N Hahnemann described transabdominal chorionic villus sampling under ultrasonic guidance.

The Gentofte group continued work on puncture techniques, ultrasound-guided biopsy and fine needle aspiration of abdominal masses, designing and building scanners and ancillary equipments for these purposes. In 1983, Holm introduced the transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) guided implantation technique for the treatment of prostatic cancer (brachytherapy), which had become one of the most important treatment modality for the disease. The center had in time become one of the pioneering and most important centers in interventional ultrasound in the world, even up to this day.

It was initially considered that as almost all diagnostic ultrasound at that time took place around the Gentofte group it would not be necessary to form a Danish Society of Ultrasound. Holm was therefore reluctant to take the first step towards the formation of such a society. After the foundation of the European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology in 1972 and the creation of the World Federation of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology and its first conference in Rotterdam in 1973, it was decided that there was a need to form a Danish Society.

In February 1974, the Danish Society of Diagnostic Ultrasound was formed at a meeting at the Gentofte Hospital. There were 42 founding members who were people with an interest in the field of diagnostic ultrasound. Hans Henrik Holm was elected as the first president. The Society was affiliated with the European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (EFSUMB) and thereby also with the World Federation of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (WFUMB). The first scientific meeting was held on 7th June 1974. George Kossoff from Australia delivered a guest lecture entitled "Annular phased array transducer technology". Two meetings are held every year, and several national courses on different aspects of diagnostic ultrasound are being held by the Society. An International Congress on Interventional Ultrasound is held every third year in Herlev. In 1991 the Society hosted the 6th World Congress in Ultrasound in Copenhagen.

Back to History of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.