SU-E-I-04: A Mammography Phantom to Measure Mean Glandular Dose and Image Quality




To evaluate mean glandular dose (MGD) and image quality in a selection of mammography systems using a novel phantom based on thermoluminescent dosemeters and the ACR wax insert.


The phantom consists of two acrylic, 19 cm diameter, 4.5 cm thick, semicircular modules, used in sequence. The image quality module contains the ACR insert and is used to obtain a quality control image under automatic exposure conditions. The dosimetric module carries 15 TLD-100 chips, some under Al foils, to determine air kerma and half-value-layer. TL readings take place at our laboratory under controlled conditions. Calibration was performed using an ionization chamber and a Senographe 2000D unit for a variety of beam qualities, from 24 to 40 kV, Mo and Rh anodes and filters. Phantom MGD values agree, on the average, within 3% with ionization chamber data, and their precision is better than 10% (k=1).


MGD and image quality have been evaluated in a selection of mammography units currently used in Mexican health services. The sample includes analogic (screen/film), flexible digital (CR), and full-field digital image receptors. The highest MDG are associated to the CR technology. The most common image quality failure is due to artifacts (dust, intensifying screen scratches, and processor marks for film/screen, laser reader defects for CR).


The developed phantom permits the MGD measurement without the need of a calibrated ionization chamber at the mammography site and can be used by a technician without the presence of a medical physicist. The results indicate the urgent need to establish quality control programs for mammography.