Survey of mammography practice in Croatia: equipment performance, image quality and dose
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A national audit of mammography equipment performance, image quality and dose has been conducted in Croatia. Film-processing parameters, optical density (OD), average glandular dose (AGD) to the standard breast, viewing conditions and image quality were examined using TOR(MAM) test object. Average film gradient ranged from 2.6 to 3.7, with a mean of 3.1. Tube voltage used for imaging of the standard 45 mm polymethylmethacrylate phantom ranged from 24 to 34 kV, and OD ranged from 0.75 to 1.94 with a mean of 1.26. AGD to the standard breast ranged from 0.4 to 2.3 mGy with a mean of 1.1 mGy. Besides clinical conditions, the authors have imaged the standard phantom in the referent conditions with 28 kV and OD as close as possible to 1.5. Then, AGD ranged from 0.5 to 2.6 mGy with a mean of 1.3 mGy. Image viewing conditions were generally unsatisfying with ambient light up to 500 lx and most of the viewing boxes with luminance between 1000 and 2000 cd per m(2). TOR(MAM) scoring of images tak...en in clinical and referent conditions was done by local radiologists in local image viewing conditions and by the referent radiologist in good image viewing conditions. Importance of OD and image viewing conditions for diagnostic information were analysed. The survey showed that the main problem in Croatia is the lack of written quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) procedures. Consequently, equipment performance, image quality and dose are unstable and activities to improve image quality or to reduce the dose are not evidence-based. This survey also had an educational purpose, introducing in Croatia the QC based on European Commission Guidelines.
Source:Radiation Protection Dosimetry, 2008, 131, 4, 535-540
- International Atomic Energy Agency [RER 9093], Ministry of Science Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia