Phantoms for Image Quality and Dose Assessment

Authored by: Alessandra Tomal , Paulo Roberto Costa

Handbook of X-ray Imaging

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781498741521
eBook ISBN: 9781351228251
Adobe ISBN:


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Test objects and tissue substitute materials have been used since the beginning of the use of X-rays for imaging purposes (see Section IV, Chapter 55). However, these devices became more popular after the introduction of the concepts of quality control (QC) on imaging facilities in the seventies of the last century (Goodenough et al. 1972). Their development and use were also associated with the need to adequately balance dose and image quality in all X-ray imaging modalities (Tapiovaara 2008). Today, there are many different manufacturers and a wide range of models of these devices for all available medical imaging applications. Phantom manufacturers use different approaches for quantifying image quality metrics or dose characteristics of the image devices. Therefore, a professional who intends to start a working program in this area has a hard task comparing all the available options independently if he or she is a university researcher or a hospital quality assurance (QA) officer. This chapter presents a technical evaluation of some of the more popular models of test objects and phantoms commonly applied to image quality and/or radiation dose evaluation in different X-ray imaging modalities (radiography, mammography, interventional radiology, computed tomography (CT), and so on). It contains helpful comparative information about them and can be used to gain adequate understanding of the applications and capabilities of these different phantoms. However, as several phantom models are currently available on the market and many of them have not been included in this chapter, this text has no intention of being an extensive or conclusive study, only of providing general guidelines for students or practitioners regarding the challenges faced on choosing adequate hardware for research or clinical evaluation of diagnostic medical devices. DeWerd and Kissick (2014) recently published a very comprehensive description of the main phantoms used in the medical or health physics areas.

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