Patient dose in full-field digital mammography: An italian survey

Gisella Gennaro, Paola Baldelli, Angelo Taibi, Cosimo Di Maggio, Mauro Gambaccini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to compare performance and patient dose of full-field digital mammography units for clinical use. Measurements of linearity and automatic exposure control stability were performed on four units installed in as many Italian sites. The tube output was also obtained by the same ionization chamber, permitting to evaluate ratios mGy/mAs for each available spectrum. The entrance air-kerma was calculated over a sample of 800 cranio-caudal mammograms and the average glandular dose obtained, assuming two mean glandular compositions of 50 and 30%, respectively. Digital systems showed very good linearity and comparable responses. The stability of the automatic exposure control was better than 5% for all systems. Regarding doses, the two mammography units that work mainly in contrast mode deliver, respectively, 17 and 28% more dose compared with those working in standard mode. For the latter mode, the mean average glandular dose was in the range 1.25-1.37 mGy and 1.37-1.49 mGy for the 50 and 30% glandular composition, respectively. Results of this study were compared with those of other surveys, showing that full-field digital mammography allows a significant clinical dose reduction compared with screen/film mammography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-652
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004


  • Breast imaging
  • Digital mammography
  • Patient dose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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