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Australas Phys Eng Sci Med. 2017 Sep;40(3):491-543. doi: 10.1007/s13246-017-0583-x. Epub 2017 Sep 15.

Position paper: recommendations for a digital mammography quality assurance program V4.0.

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BreastScreen Victoria, Carlton, Australia.
I-Med Radiology Network, Head office Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.
Medical Physics Department, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Australia.
Hunter New England Imaging, John Hunter Hospital, New Lambton Heights, Australia.
Medical Physics and Radiation Engineering, Canberra Hospital, Canberra, Australia.
Radiation Protection Services Pty Ltd, Brisbane, Australia.
Radiological Physics Consultants Ltd, Warrington, New Zealand.


In 2001 the ACPSEM published a position paper on quality assurance in screen film mammography which was subsequently adopted as a basis for the quality assurance programs of both the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) and of BreastScreen Australia. Since then the clinical implementation of digital mammography has been realised and it has become evident that existing screen-film protocols were not appropriate to assure the required image quality needed for reliable diagnosis or to address the new dose implications resulting from digital technology. In addition, the advantages and responsibilities inherent in teleradiology are most critical in mammography and also need to be addressed. The current document is the result of a review of current overseas practice and local experience in these areas. At this time the technology of digital imaging is undergoing significant development and there is still a lack of full international consensus about some of the detailed quality control (QC) tests that should be included in quality assurance (QA) programs. This document describes the current status in digital mammography QA and recommends test procedures that may be suitable in the Australasian environment. For completeness, this document also includes a review of the QA programs required for the various types of digital biopsy units used in mammography. In the future, international harmonisation of digital quality assurance in mammography and changes in the technology may require a review of this document. Version 2.0 represented the first of these updates and key changes related to image quality evaluation, ghost image evaluation and interpretation of signal to noise ratio measurements. In Version 3.0 some significant changes, made in light of further experience gained in testing digital mammography equipment were introduced. In Version 4.0, further changes have been made, most notably digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) testing and QC have been addressed. Some additional testing for conventional projection imaging has been added in order that sites may have the capability to undertake dose surveys to confirm compliance with diagnostic reference levels (DRLs) that may be established at the National or State level. A key recommendation is that dosimetry calculations are now to be undertaken using the methodology of Dance et al. Some minor changes to existing facility QC tests have been made to ensure the suggested procedures align with those most recently adopted by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists and BreastScreen Australia. Future updates of this document may be provided as deemed necessary in electronic format on the ACPSEM's website ( and see also ).


Biopsy; DBT; DRLs; Diagnostic reference levels; Digital; Digital breast tomosynthesis; Mammography; Quality assurance; Quality control

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