The test question writers at the American Board of Radiology seem to be obsessed with comparing mammography and general radiography. The below table should be high yield information for the ABR Core examination and certifying examination. In simple terms, mammography is lower energy, takes longer, generally uses different targets and filters, and is higher resolution. Those are the high points. Details below:
|Anode (target)||Molybdenum, Rhodium||Tungsten|
|Tube Current (mA)||100 mA||500 mA|
|Exposure time (ms)||1000 ms||50 ms|
|Receptor Air Kerma||100 microGy||5 microGy|
|Focal spot||Small (0.1 to 0.3 mm)||Larger (0.6 to 1.2 mm)|
|View box brightness||3000 cd/m2||1500 cd/m2|
Other points to note are that the anode and filter can be changed depending on the density of the breast tissue. Always remember that for dense breasts, a rhodium anode/rhodium filter is a good combination because it results in a higher energy beam to penetrate the tissue, and you can NEVER combine a rhodium anode with a molybdenum filter! For more information on why that is, see the below figures. Their explanations can be found at Sprawls Educational Foundation.