A comparison of digital and screen-film mammography using quality control phantoms

P E Undrill, A D O'Kane, F J Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


AIM: To compare the performance of a direct digital mammography system with normal-view and magnified-view conventional screen-film methods using quality control phantoms.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using a Siemens Mammomat(R) 3000 and an Opdima(R) digital spot imaging and biopsy attachment, film and direct digital images of two phantoms [DuPont and TOR (MAM)] were obtained under normal operating conditions. These were assessed by three groups of observers with differing expertise - radiologists, radiographers and medical physicists. Each observer was asked to compare the direct digital image with films taken in standard view and magnified view, providing scores for object visibility and confidence. For the digital images, observers were allowed to vary the image presentation parameters.

RESULTS: Both phantoms showed that overall the direct digital view and the magnified view film performed significantly better (P < 0.05) than standard view film. For certain small or low contrast objects the differences became very highly significant (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Only the TOR (MAM) phantom showed any significant difference between digital and magnified modalities, with magnified views performing better for fine, faint filaments and digital acquisition better for low contrast objects. Almost no difference existed between the three observer groups. Undrill, P. E. et al. (2000). Clinical Radiology 53, 782-790. (C) 2000 The Royal College of Radiologists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-790
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Radiology
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • digital mammography
  • quality assurance
  • phantom assessment
  • observer studies


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