Original Research

The relationship between compression force, image quality and radiation dose in mammography

A Korf, C P Herbst, W ID Rae
South African Journal of Radiology | Vol 13, No 4 | a486 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajr.v13i4.486 | © 2009 A Korf, C P Herbst, W ID Rae | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 February 2009 | Published: 30 November 2009

About the author(s)

A Korf,, South Africa
C P Herbst,, South Africa
W ID Rae,, South Africa


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Abstract

Background. Mammography aims to obtain mammograms of best possible image quality with least possible radiation dose.1 Theoretically, an increase in breast compression gives a reduction in thickness, without changing the density, resulting in improved image quality and reduced radiation dose.
Aim. This study aims to investigate the relationship between compression force, phantom thickness, image quality and radiation dose. The existence of a compression point beyond which increased compression gives a change in density rather than thickness is also considered.
Method. Image quality is assessed with a contrast-detail phantom within Superflab phantom on a computed radiography (CR) mammography unit using automatic exposure control (AEC). Image quality is determined by visual inspection and image quality figure (IQF) scoring. The effect of compression and lesion depth on image quality is determined. Entrance and exit doses are calculated. The relationship between entrance dose, compression and thickness is investigated, as is the existence of a compression point beyond which a change in phantom density occurs. The average glandular dose (AGD) is calculated from the scanning average level (SAL) and logarithmic mean (LgM) according to Koen et al,2 and compared to the allowable limit.
Results. The geometry effect was not observed. An improvement in image quality with increased compression was found. Entrance dose did decrease with increased compression. This trend was not observed with exit dose as AEC was used and exit dose was calculated from SAL values. The “change-in-density” point of compression was determined. Both LgM and SAL could be used successfully for AGD calculation.

Keywords

Mammography

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Crossref Citations

1. Breast compression across consecutive examinations among females participating in BreastScreen Norway
Gunvor G Waade, Sofie Sebuødegård, Peter Hogg, Solveig Hofvind
The British Journal of Radiology  vol: 91  issue: 1090  first page: 20180209  year: 2018  
doi: 10.1259/bjr.20180209