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Radiographics. 1992 Nov;12(6):1137-46.

Effect of poor control of film processors on mammographic image quality.

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Iris Cantor Center for Breast Imaging, University of California Los Angeles Medical Center 90024-1721.


With the increasingly stringent standards of image quality in mammography, film processor quality control is especially important. Current methods are not sufficient for ensuring good processing. The authors used a sensitometer and densitometer system to evaluate the performance of 22 processors at 16 mammographic facilities. Standard sensitometric values of two films were established, and processor performance was assessed for variations from these standards. Developer chemistry of each processor was analyzed and correlated with its sensitometric values. Ten processors were retested, and nine were found to be out of calibration. The developer components of hydroquinone, sulfites, bromide, and alkalinity varied the most, and low concentrations of hydroquinone were associated with lower average gradients at two facilities. Use of the sensitometer and densitometer system helps identify out-of-calibration processors, but further study is needed to correlate sensitometric values with developer component values. The authors believe that present quality control would be improved if sensitometric or other tests could be used to identify developer components that are out of calibration.

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