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DICOM meta data quality analysis for mammography radiation exposure characterization
The usage of ionizing radiation on human tissues for medical purposes has been an object of regular analysis using Digital Imaging and Communica-tion in Medicine (DICOM) metadata that is part of mammographic studies, and used and managed by systems for recording and monitoring individual and population exposure. The objective of this work was to analyze the quality of DICOM metadata for radiation exposure characterization in mammographic studies performed during the first year of activity of mam-mography equipment. Metadata related to studies stored in the Picture Ar-chiving and Communication System (PACS) were indexed. After a data mining process, patients with mammography studies were identified, and the mammographic image Information Object Definition (IOD) was charac-terized. Specific DICOM attributes exportation was performed for data quality and population exposure characterization. 379 studies were identi-fied, performed on 351 patients aged 20 to 89 years. During the normaliza-tion process, 1.85% of files with the DICOM Patient Age attribute with “0” as a value and 3% with an incorrect value were identified. The Entrance Dose In mGy attribute was empty in 2.55% of the files and with an Illegible value in 8.16%. 0.7% of the files were related to operative parts. Exposure dose was possible to determine, namely the Entrance Surface Air Kerma (ESAK) and the Average Glandular Dose (AGD). Although DICOM metadata allows the radiation dose characterization in mammographic stud-ies, it is pertinent to effectively poll the quality of the stored metadata, for individual and population analysis, but also for better dose monitoring in-formation systems utilization.