Breast Imaging - Original Article

Mammography device use in Turkey, and quantity and quality analysis of mammography education

  • Nuray Voyvoda
  • Ayşegül Özdemir
  • Serap Gültekin

Received Date: 21.02.2007 Accepted Date: 01.05.2007 Diagn Interv Radiol 2007;13(3):129-133


To evaluate in detail the ways and methods of mammography education, to survey currently used mammography devices, and to determine the quality of mammography examinations in Turkey in order to increase the quality of said examinations and to offer guidance to standardization studies in Turkey.


This study depended on the analysis of a questionnaire that was completed by volunteering medical centers. The questionnaire was mailed to all institutions in Turkey with a mammography device and which were registered with the Turkish Atomic Energy Commission and individual city health administration databases (n = 456).


It was not possible to determine the exact number of mammography devices in Turkey. In all, 270 questionnaires were completed and returned from the registered centers. Among the mammography devices declared (n = 291), automatic exposure control (AEC), spot view, and magnification view were not used at 21%, 34%, and 43% of the centers, respectively. Preoperative wire localization was not practiced at 180 centers (62%) despite the ability to do so. At 16% of the centers, mammograms were not labeled and at 57% of the centers labeling was handwritten. At 23% of the centers only small cassettes were used, and at 58% the heat and at 94% the humidity of film storage areas were inappropriate or unknown. At 25% of the centers light and at 15% radiation exposure of the film was present. Mammography quality control tests were performed at 40%, and in 70% control records were not well kept. There were no thermometers in 49% of the centers, no phantom breast at 80%, no sensitometer at 93%, and no densitometer at 81%. At 50% of the centers, regular periodic maintenance was not performed. Second look was performed consistently at 12% of the centers and BI-RADS (Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System) categorization was used at 40%.


The exact number of mammography devices is not officially known in Turkey, and it is apparent that registration of some devices was not made by the Turkish Atomic Energy Commission. Questionnaire responses about mammography education and procedures revealed that there was a serious lack of quality across regions. Education, accreditation, inspection, and sanctions are needed immediately to institute standardization and improve quality. This is a critical situation that should be addressed by the Turkish Society of Radiology.