If the AEC performance test fails, does that automatically mean that the AEC is the cause of the failure?
No. Because the AEC performance test involves many parts of the imaging chain, the medical physicist needs to make sure that the AEC is the part responsible for the failure. For example, problems with the processor, film emulsion or the use of different cassettes during the performance of this test may lead to a failure that is not the fault of the AEC. Facilities are reminded, however, that whatever the cause of the failure it needs to be corrected within the appropriate time frame.
Note: When conducting the AEC performance test, the physicist should try to minimize the variation introduced by components such as film, cassette and processor. Different film emulsion batches, cassettes or processors should not be used while conducting the AEC performance test. An exception would be where prior testing has shown that the different film emulsion batches, cassettes or processors would not introduce excessive variation in the test results. Introducing such variability into the AEC performance test may lead to an inappropriate “failure” of this test.