Breast Imaging - Original Article

Clinical evaluation of breast dose and the factors affecting breast dose in screen-film mammography

  • Ayşegül Özdemir

Received Date: 06.10.2006 Accepted Date: 10.06.2007 Diagn Interv Radiol 2007;13(3):134-139


To investigate the factors affecting the mammographic breast dose.


The assessment was done on 622 qualified mammograms obtained with use of “variable kV” technique, i. e., semiautomatic mode, in screen-film mammography. Actual breast doses were calculated and analyzed to determine the roles of two screens and three films, two anode/filter selections (Mo/Mo and Mo/ Rh), three imaging projections (craniocaudal, 45º and 60º mediolateral oblique [MLO]), breast thickness, and breast composition.


Min R 2190 screen provided about half dose of Min R screen. All films used with the faster screen resulted in similar doses in <50 mm thicknesses (mean, 0.9–1.1 mGy) (P > 0.05). The doses were significantly greater in thicker (≥50 mm) breasts, in dense breasts, and in 45º MLO view, compared to the <50 mm breasts, fatty breasts and in 60º view (P < 0.05).


The affecting factors of dose are many, and their complex interrelations are difficult to control in clinical settings. Well tailoring of kVp/anode/filter combination, selection of faster screens and well matched films are mandatory, while 60º instead of 45º in oblique projection can help reducing the dose. However, tailoring of kVp/anode/filter, which should be based on both breast thickness and composition, is difficult to achieve accurately at all times. Therefore, automatic beam quality control should replace the semiautomatic mode in screen-film mammography practice in order to provide easier and more effective control on breast dose and image quality.

Keywords: mammography • radiation dose • measurement