Radiation-Emitting Products

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.

TestUnits TestedS-F Combinations Tested With Each Unit
All units**For all S-F combinations clinically used with the unit in question. (900.12(e)(5)(iii)
Phantom ImageAll units used to image the standard*** breastAll S-F combinations clinically used for the standard breast (900.12(e)(2))
Phantom ImageAll units that are used only for non-standard breasts, and/or magnification workOne S-F combination, using clinical techniques that would be used for phantom images submitted to the accreditation body
DoseAll units used to image the standard breastAll S-F combinations clinically used for the standard breast with their corresponding techniques (900.12(e)(5)(vi)
DoseAll units that are used only for non-standard breasts, and or magnification workOne S-F combination, using clinical techniques that would be used for the standard breast
Darkroom FogAny unit (one only)All film types clinically used (900.12(e)(4)(i))
Uniformity of Screen SpeedAny 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 ContactAny unit (one only)All clinically used screens (cassettes), one film type (900.12(e)(4)(ii))
AEC Performance - ReproducibilityAll unitsOne S-F combination (typically used with the unit) (900.12(e)(5)(v))
AEC Performance – kVp & Thickness TrackingAll units used clinically in the 2-6 cm thickness rangeOne S-F combination (typically used with the unit) (900.12(e)(5)(i))
Collimation and System ArtifactsAll unitsOne S-F combination (typically used with the unit) (900.12(e)(5)(ix))
kVp Accuracy & Reproducibility, HVL, Decompression, and Radiation OutputAll unitsNone

* 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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Page Last Updated: 08/08/2014
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