Analysis of patient breast dose from a mammographic biopsy unit

  • Donald McLeanEmail author
  • Lewis Ryan
  • Lisa Robertson
Scientific Paper


Further assessment of suspicious lesions found during asymptomatic breast cancer screening is critical and involves mammographic follow up with biopsy. The X-ray procedure is complex and variable in nature and until now there is little information on the radiation dose to the breast or associated risks. A survey of radiation doses from a Siemens MammoTest prone biopsy with the support of a Sectra L30 AIR mammographic unit for workup and post clip images has been completed. Procedure details and outcomes, including radiographic and patient related variables have been collected and analysed using standard dosimetric formulation. The partial irradiation of the breast in biopsy and magnification views was considered. The average mean glandular breast dose was 5.13 mGy, comprising of 3.52 mGy from the biopsy procedure and 1.61 mGy from the workup and post clip images, with an average of 8.4 biopsy images and 5.8 workup and post clip images. The risk from these dose levels are dependent on the age of the woman, however are not considered high for a symptomatic X-ray procedure.


Mammographic dose Biopsy Mean glandular dose 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Institutional ethics approval was obtained: ethlr.13.258 “Estimation of subject breast dose from mammographic stereotactic vacuum assisted biopsies”.

Informed consent

For this type of study formal consent is not required. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical Physics and Radiation EngineeringThe Canberra HospitalWodenAustralia
  2. 2.ACT BreastScreen, ACT HealthCanberraAustralia

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