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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Radiation-Emitting Products

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Our facility has multiple mammographic units and uses several different screen-film combinations. What QC tests are we required to perform?

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The required QC tests are summarized in the following table.

 

Table: QC Tests* Required for Facilities Using Multiple Units & Screen-Film Combinations

Test

 

Units Tested

 

S-F Combinations Tested With Each Unit

Focal Spot Condition

System Resolution

 

All units**

For all S-F combinations clinically used with the unit in question. (900.12(e)(5)(iii)

 

Phantom Image

All units used to image the standard*** breast

 

All S-F combinations clinically used for the standard breast (900.12(e)(2))
Phantom Image

All units that are used only for non-standard breasts, and/or magnification work

 

One S-F combination, using clinical techniques that would be used for phantom images submitted to the accreditation body
Dose All units used to image the standard breast

All S-F combinations clinically used for the standard breast with their corresponding techniques (900.12(e)(5)(vi)

 

Dose

All units that are used only for non-standard breasts, and or magnification work

 

One S-F combination, using clinical techniques that would be used for the standard breast
Darkroom Fog

Any unit (one only)

 

All film types clinically used (900.12(e)(4)(i))

Uniformity of Screen Speed

 

Any unit (one only)

All clinically used screens (cassettes), one film type (appropriate for cassette used). Also see guidance on grouping of cassettes (Question 1 under Screen Speed Uniformity Annual Quality Control Test). (900.12(e)(5)(viii)).

 

Screen-Film Contact Any unit (one only)

All clinically used screens (cassettes), one film type (900.12(e)(4)(ii))

 

AEC Performance - Reproducibility All units

One S-F combination (typically used with the unit) (900.12(e)(5)(v))

 

AEC Performance – kVp & Thickness Tracking

All units used clinically in the 2-6 cm thickness range

 

One S-F combination (typically used with the unit) (900.12(e)(5)(i))
Collimation and System Artifacts All units

One S-F combination (typically used with the unit) (900.12(e)(5)(ix))

 

kVp Accuracy & Reproducibility, HVL, Decompression, and Radiation Output All units None

* This table does not cover other required QC tests that are independent of the x-ray unit or screen-film combination (e.g., the daily processor QC, the fixer retention, and repeat analysis), or additional tests that are required for units with multiple targets and filters.

** In this table, "All units" refers to those that are used clinically.

*** The standard breast referenced in this table is defined in the regulations as "a 4.2 centimeter (cm) thick compressed breast consisting of 50 percent glandular and 50 percent adipose tissue."

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