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Mammography Acronyms and Phrases Defined

Posted by Josh Block

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Nov 9, 2012 11:09:00 AM

:: 1 minute read ::

Mammography Acronyms

This week, we’ll be continuing our journey into the wilds of the imaging lexicon with common mammography acronyms and phrases.


18x24cm, 24x30cm: The dimensions of common mammography buckies, the component that receives the x-rays on the underside of the breast


AEC: Automatic Exposure Control,

“adjust[s] the kilovoltage, milliamperage, or exposure time in order to obtain an image of diagnostic quality, be it for radiography or fluoroscopy. These systems sense the amount of radiation immediately in front of the image receptor and adjust the dose or dose rate to the patient in order to assure sufficient photons are reaching the image receptor. However, these systems can also result in high patient doses, especially with digital image receptors, without the knowledge of the imaging staff. AEC systems may also be known by other names including automatic dose control (ADC), automatic dose rate control (ADRC), and automatic brightness control (ABC).” (International Atomic Energy Agency 2010)

AOP Calibration Plates: Angle of Polarization, quality control tools used to set calibrations for image quality

Auto kV and Auto mA: System setting in which kV (kilovoltage) and mA (milliamperage) are selected automatically for image quality and exposure control. (GE Healthcare 2012)

AWS: Acquisition Workstation, computer console where patient information is entered and examination protocols are set up

CAD: Computer Aided Detection, software that flags areas of potential concern in patient images

Data Flash/Patient I.D. Flasher: Marks x-ray film with patient/examination information

DMR: A model of analog mammography machine from GE’s Senographe product line, a direct translation of the acronym was nowhere to be found amid the OEM documentation available to us

DR: Direct Radiography

HF: High Frequency

HTC: High Transmission Cellular, an x-ray grid from Hologic, eliminates traces of the grid pattern in the image, results in higher subject contrast (Hologic 2004)

IQST Phantom: Image Quality Signature Test Phantom, a quality control tool used to set calibrations for image quality

LCD: Liquid Crystal Display, flat-panel monitors

RIS: Radiology Information System, a method of patient information and image storage, generally used in conjunction with PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication)

RWS: Review Workstation, computer console where images are reviewed for follow-up and diagnosis


As we continue, modality by modality, defining the buzzwords and jargon that make up the unique speak of our industry, we encourage you to send us your input! Your additions will help us make this series an increasingly useful resource for those who may be new to a modality, a manufacturer, or the industry as a whole. Please feel free to leave your additions as a comment below.



digital mammography tomosynthesis   GE Digital Mammography

5 Benefits of Tomosynthesis | New 3D Digital Mammography Technology 


Senographe 2000D vs DS vs Essential


Written by Josh Block

author of blog post

Josh Block is the President of Block Imaging. He is also a husband, father of two, and self-proclaimed waffle chef. As a part of the second generation of Blocks to lead Block Imaging, Josh carries on the family passion for putting people first, delivering memorable service, and improving lives all over the world by empowering medical care providers with high-quality equipment.

Topics: Mammography

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