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Report No. 065 - Real-Time B-Mode Ultrasound Quality Control Test Procedures (1998)

Category: Reports

It is sometimes argued that there is no need for ultrasound (US) quality control (QC) testing because (1) the new machines are very reliable and rarely break down, and (2) the sonographer will detect image quality defects during normal scanning. Although both of these statements may be true, they do not necessarily negate the utility of US QC tests. A primary reason is that a set of periodic definitive measurements for each transducer and US unit can identify degradation in image quality before it affects patient scans. Another is that when equipment malfunction is suspected, QC tests can be employed to determine the source of the malfunction. Even equipment that is under warranty or service contract should be checked periodically. QC tests can verify that equipment is operating correctly and repairs are done properly. A quality assurance (QA) program involves many activities including: quality control testing, preventive maintenance, equipment calibration, in-service education of sonographers, bid specification writing and bid response evaluation, acceptance testing of new equipment, and evaluation of new products.1 The purpose of the present document is to describe routine ultrasound QC tests to be performed by or under the supervision of a medical physicist. Descriptions of other QA activities, in particular acceptance testing of US equipment, are beyond the scope of this document. Further information on ultrasound QC tests can be found in other documents.2–5 The following is a detailed set of instructions for setting up and performing ultrasound QC tests. An abbreviated instruction set is also included in Appendix A for the operator’s convenience. Examples of individual QC test forms are included in Appendix B, and examples of possible phantom designs are provided in Appendix C.

Medical Physics, 25, 1385-1406 (1998)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.598404

Keywords: Ultrasound, Quality Control
Ultrasound Task Group #1

Mitchell M. Goodsitt, Paul L. Carson, Scott Witt, David L. Hykes, James M. Kofler

Committee Responsible: Ultrasound Subcommittee
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