Determination of equivalent breast phantoms for different age groups of Taiwanese women: An experimental approach

Shang Lung Dong, Tieh Chi Chu, Yung Chien Lin, Gong Yau Lan, Yu Hsiu Yeh, Sharon Chen, Keh Shih Chuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) slab is one of the mostly used phantoms for studying breast dosimetry in mammography. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the equivalence between exposure factors acquired from PMMA slabs and patient cases of different age groups of Taiwanese women in mammography. Methods: This study included 3910 craniocaudal screen/film mammograms on Taiwanese women acquired on one mammographic unit. The tube loading, compressed breast thickness (CBT), compression force, tube voltage, and target/filter combination for each mammogram were collected for all patients. The glandularity and the equivalent thickness of PMMA were determined for each breast using the exposure factors of the breast in combination with experimental measurements from breast-tissue-equivalent attenuation slabs. Equivalent thicknesses of PMMA to the breasts of Taiwanese women were then estimated. Results: The average ± standard deviation CBT and breast glandularity in this study were 4.2 ± 1.0 cm and 54% ± 23%, respectively. The average equivalent PMMA thickness was 4.0 ± 0.7 cm. PMMA slabs producing equivalent exposure factors as in the breasts of Taiwanese women were determined for the age groups 30-49 yr and 50-69 yr. For the 4-cm PMMA slab, the CBT and glandularity values of the equivalent breast were 4.1 cm and 65%, respectively, for the age group 30-49 yr and 4.4 cm and 44%, respectively, for the age group 50-69 yr. Conclusions: The average thickness of PMMA slabs producing the same exposure factors as observed in a large group of Taiwanese women is less than that reported for American women. The results from this study can provide useful information for determining a suitable thickness of PMMA for mammographic dose survey in Taiwan. The equivalence of PMMA slabs and the breasts of Taiwanese women is provided to allow average glandular dose assessment in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4094-4100
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • average glandular dose
  • equivalent thickness
  • mammography
  • phantom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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