Gold Standard Mammographic Contrast-Detail Phantom

  • Optimisation and evaluation of digital mammography systems.


In mammography it is essential that objects with very small contrast and diameter can be distinguished. Therefore the quality of the technical aspects of the mammography equipment should be monitored at regular time-intervals. The CDMAM 3.4 phantom is specially developed to facilitate this task in analog and digital mammography systems, i.e. detecting very low contrast and detecting very small details. The CDMAM is considered to be the world gold standard and is described in the European Protocol for quality assurance in Digital Mammography.


  • Determination if mammographic images are indicating objects with very low contrast and very small diameter
  • Monitors the image information content with the Contrast-Detail curve and the spatial resolution
  • Determination of the optimum exposure technique, e.g., by variation of tube potential
  • Comparison of image quality at various object thicknesses by variation of the amount of PMMA
  • Determination of the optimum background density
  • Comparison of different mammography systems
  • For full-field analog and digital units


The CDMAM 3.4 phantom consists of an aluminum base with gold discs (pure gold) of various thickness and diameter. The gold discs are arranged in a matrix of 16 rows by 16 columns. Within a row the disc diameter is constant, with (partly) logarithmic increasing thickness and within a column the thickness of the discs is constant and the diameter increases logarithmic. The thickness is between 0.03 and 2.00 µm and the diameter is 0.06 between 2.0 mm. Each square contains two identical discs (same thickness, same diameter), one in the center and one in a randomly chosen corner. The total matrix is rotated by 45 degrees and the corners of the matrix are skipped. The matrix grid is silkscreen printed with X-ray contrasting paint. 

The aluminum base (0.5 mm thick Al 1050, 99.5% pure aluminum) is attached to a PMMA cover (3 mm). Under normal mammography-radiation conditions (Mo anode, 30 mm Mo filter, 28 kV) the aluminum base and PMMA cover together have an equivalent PMMA thickness of 10 mm. The phantom is delivered with 4 PMMA plates, each 10 mm thickness, which are used for the simulation of different breast thicknesses. Every plate has an engraved marker for identification. The actual attenuation of the CDMAM Phantom depends on the configuration of the phantom and PMMA plates. The effective energy of the phantom plane will be higher when more PMMA is added to the top and bottom of the phantom.


Guidelines and systems compatibility. 


Next generation contrast detail phantom.


Literature and references.

Specifications are subject to change without notice. Always read product labelling/inserts for complete instructions, warnings and restrictions.