The objective of this article is to provide scientists, engineers and clinicians with an up-to-date overview on the current state of development in the area of three-dimensional ultrasound (3-DUS) and to serve as a reference for individuals who wish to learn more about 3-DUS imaging. The sections will review the state of the art with respect to 3-DUS imaging, methods of data acquisition, analysis and display approaches. Clinical sections summarize patient research study results to date with discussion of applications by organ system. The basic algorithms and approaches to visualization of 3-D and 4-D ultrasound data are reviewed, including issues related to interactivity and user interfaces. The implications of recent developments for future ultrasound imaging/visualization systems are considered. Ultimately, an improved understanding of ultrasound data offered by 3-DUS may make it easier for primary care physicians to understand complex patient anatomy. Tertiary care physicians specializing in ultrasound can further enhance the quality of patient care by using high-speed networks to review volume ultrasound data at specialization centers. Access to volume data and expertise at specialization centers affords more sophisticated analysis and review, further augmenting patient diagnosis and treatment.