Results from a four-year audit of a Doppler quality assurance (QA) program using a commercially available Doppler string phantom are presented. The suitability of the phantom was firstly determined and modifications were made to improve the reliability and quality of the measurements. QA of Doppler ultrasound equipment is very important as data obtained from these systems is used in patient management. It was found that if the braided-silk filament of the Doppler phantom was exchanged with an O-ring rubber filament and the velocity range below 50cm/s was avoided for Doppler quality control (QC) measurements, then the maximum velocity accuracy (MVA) error and intrinsic spectral broadening (ISB) results obtained using this device had a repeatability of 18±3.3% and 19±3.5%, respectively. A consistent overestimation of the MVA of between 12% and 56% was found for each of the tested ultrasound systems. Of more concern was the variation of the overestimation within each respective transducer category: MVA errors of the linear, curvilinear and phased array probes were in the range 12.3-20.8%, 32.3-53.8% and 27-40.7%, respectively. There is a dearth of QA data for Doppler ultrasound; it would be beneficial if a multicentre longitudinal study was carried out using the same Doppler ultrasound test object to evaluate sensitivity to deterioration in performance measurements.
- Quality assurance
- String phantom
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Physics and Astronomy(all)