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Volume 8 Supplement 1

Symposium Mammographicum 2006

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Audit to assess the quality of mammograms in a symptomatic service providing family history screening


To determine whether the standard of mammography in a district general hospital's symptomatic service is equivalent to that in the NHSBSP. NICE guidance recommends that mammography for women with a family history of breast cancer should be to NHSBSP standards and should be audited [1]. The quality of mammograms is an important component of a mammography screening service.

The NHSBSP's minimum standard for mammography is that < 3% of examinations should be repeated, with a target of 2% [2].


Two hundred consecutive film sets were assessed by symptomatic mammographers and 22% were reassessed by a screening mammographer, using Perfect, Good, Moderate, Inadequate (PGMI) criteria [2].


Seventy-three per cent of films scored by the symptomatic radiographers were assessed as 'good' or 'perfect', 3% were technically inadequate. The BSU mammographer scored fewer films as 'good' or 'perfect'. Mammograms on women up to the age of 70 were assessed with a reject rate of 1%, with 87% of films assessed as 'good' or 'perfect'.


This audit has shown that the symptomatic mammographers produce films to a standard sufficient to provide family history mammography.


  1. Familial Breast Cancer. 2004, NICE Clinical Guidelines CGO14

  2. Quality Assurance Guidelines for Radiographers. 2000, NHSBSP Publication No. 30

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Thomson, L., Webley, J., Pickering, P. et al. Audit to assess the quality of mammograms in a symptomatic service providing family history screening. Breast Cancer Res 8 (Suppl 1), P73 (2006).

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