The QUART mam/digi EPQC phantom is designed to be used as a universal tool for QA/QC routine testing in Digital and Analog Mammography. Due to its design it can also be used as a QA/QC tool for Digital Tomosynthesis.
Only one exposure is required to collect all necessary parameters to determine the imaging quality for the x-ray equipment. After the exposure, the image can be automatically evaluated visually or through the unique QUART QA/QC software module. The test results are saved or printed out for documentation purposes. Unique in its kind, the QUART mam/digi phantom incorporates so-called Landolt Ring structures. Similar to the gold structures of the CDMAM phantom, the Landolt structures are meant to verify low-contrast and perceptibility limits. However, the Landolt Cs are developed to compare better to the morphology of microcalcifications than any other available structure in current mammography QA/QC phantoms.
The phantom additionally enables Contrast-to-Noise Ratio (CNR) measurements over the full dynamic range of an image – ranging from peripheral to highly dense parenchyma areas. The MTF is evaluated automatically.
A total of 12 steps simulate different densities of tissue material thus providing the basis for QA procedures which correspond to actual anatomical conditions. Additional attenuation can be added to simulate further thickness and density of mamma tissue. The low contrast is visually checked using special objects in the 12-step wedge.
All test objects are arranged and positioned near the thorax wall side of the mammography unit. This was intentionally done to avoid heel effect influence on the test results.
Software Evaluation: After the phantom is positioned on the bucky table, the exposure is initiated. After the exposure, a DICOM image is loaded into the QUART MammoPRO software module.** The software will guide the user step-by-step through the evaluation process, collect all data from the test image and create a test protocol. The whole procedure from phantom positioning to the software assisted evaluation and creation of the test protocol takes only about 5 minutes. Essential test parameters are displayed for evaluation, others are merely collected in the software‘s backend, or are visually assessed.
Visual Evaluation: The visual evaluation of the QA/QC image is performed accor- ding EUREF and EPQC protocols.
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