AAPM/RSNA physics tutorial for residents. Digital mammography: An overview

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Recent advances in digital detector technology have paved the way to full-field digital mammography (FFDM) systems. The performance of these systems has evolved to the point where replacement of screen-film mammography (SFM) systems is becoming realistic. Despite some commonality between the two techniques, there are fundamental differences in how images are recorded, displayed, and stored. These differences necessitate an understanding of the principles of detection and the characteristics of digital images. Several approaches have been taken in the development of FFDM systems: (a) slot scanning with a scintillator and a charge-coupled device (CCD) array, (b) a flat-panel scintillator and an amorphous silicon diode array, (c) a flat-panel amorphous selenium array, (d) a tiled scintillator with fiberoptic tapers and a CCD array, and (e) photostimulable phosphor plates (computed radiography). Although the initial cost of an FFDM system is high compared with that of an SFM system, digital mammography has inherent advantages, such as wide dynamic range, reduction in recall rates, potential for reduction in radiation dose, increased patient throughput, postprocessing capability, and digital acquisition. These advantages and the rapidly occurring technologic developments will help establish FFDM as a mainstay of breast evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1747-1760
Number of pages14
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


  • Breast neoplasms, radiography, 00.1215, 00.30
  • Breast radiography, technology, 00.1215
  • Physics
  • Radiography, digital, 00.1215

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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