Scatter radiation intensities around full-field digital mammography units
Judge, M A
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Judge, M A; Keavey, E; Phelan, N (2013). Scatter radiation intensities around full-field digital mammography units. The British Journal of Radiology 86 (1021),
The aim of this study was to investigate the scatter radiation intensity around digital mammography systems and apply these data to standard shielding calculations to reveal whether shielding design of existing breast screening rooms is adequate for the use of digital mammography systems. Three digital mammography systems from GE Healthcare, Hologic and Philips were employed in the study. A breast-equivalent phantom was imaged under clinical workload conditions and scatter radiation intensities around the digital mammography systems were measured for a range of angles in three planes using an ionisation chamber. The results were compared with those from previous studies of film-screen systems. It may be deduced from the results that scattering in the backward direction is significant for all three systems, while scattering in the forward direction can be significant for some planes around the GE and Hologic systems. Measurements at typical clinical settings on each system revealed the Philips system to have markedly lower scatter radiation intensities than the other systems. Substituting the measured scattered radiation intensity into shielding calculations yielded barrier requirements similar to those already in place at the screening centres operating these systems. Current radiation protection requirements based on film-screen technology remain sufficient when applied to rooms with digital mammography installations and no alteration is required to the structural shielding.