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IAEA-ICTP Advanced School on Quality Assurance Requirements in the Digital Era of Diagnostic Radiology

11 - 15 November 2019, Trieste, Italy

  Group picture

The IAEA together with the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) organized an advanced school on Quality Assurance Requirements in Digital Radiology with the support also of American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM). The school took place in Adriatico Guest House at the Giambiagi Lecture Hall. The practical part was held at Trieste hospital and the ICTP Informatics Laboratory. The Director of the course was Virginia Tsapaki (IAEA), local organizer was Renato Padovani, local secretary was Suzie Radozic and the team of experts consisted of:

  • Paola BREGANT (Trieste Hospital)
  • Mario DE DENARO (Trieste Hospital)
  • Harry DELIS (Greece)
  • Paddy GILLIGAN (Ireland)
  • Renato PADOVANI (ICTP)
  • Ehsan SAMEI (AAPM)
  • Annalisa TRIANNI (Udine Hospital)

A total of 32 participants (15 female) from 22 countries around the world attended the training course (including 12 students of the ICTP master’s in medical physics).

Regional distribution of the participants
Regional distribution of the participants

The school included the following list of topics:

  • Physics of digital imaging,
  • Quantitative image analysis,
  • Adapting QC protocols for digital imaging modalities,
  • Structured DICOM images and their use,
  • Images printing and display,
  • Image processing and analysis tools (imageJ).

The practical sessions included a visit to the Trieste hospital. The participants, with the support of local and international experts, were asked to address specific questions and tasks based on a structured program. Dose and image quality measurements were performed in the hospital and then analyzed at the ICTP Laboratory using the free to download software ImageJ.

Participants performing measurements during the practical sessions
Participants performing measurements during the practical sessions

Part of the group practical sessions was devoted to drafting a tender for a digital x ray unit. The participants had the chance to present their work to the audience, followed by discussion.

On the last day the participants had the opportunity to discuss their findings from the exercises with the experts. Questions were answered and clarifications were given so that participants would leave the course without any confusion or misunderstanding regarding practical sessions.

Poster session during the ICTP 2019 advanced school
Poster session during the ICTP 2019 advanced school

A new activity was presented for the first time: the participants were invited to submit an abstract for a poster presentation during the course. Three themes were identified: 1) the role of the medical physicist in diagnostic radiology, 2) QA/QC in digital radiology and 3) the status of the medical physics in diagnostic radiology in their country. The participants presented their work during the school to the team of experts. Prizes for the 3 best posters were awarded.

The school was very successful and 95% of participants gave very positive feedback. The pre and post-course test indicated an improvement of almost 50 % in the average scores.

The practical sessions were appreciated by the participants, as - despite their short duration (3 hours per day) – they provided a hands-on experience in the evaluation of image quality and dose in digital radiology. As installation of digital systems is exponentially growing in all countries the need for such schools was acknowledged and underlined by participants. Similar courses on digital radiology will be planned soon with the objective to strengthen the capacities of Member States to support dosimetry, quality and safety in digital radiology.

More details can be found here


The IAEA acknowledges the financial and organizational support provided by ICTP, as well as the financial support of AAPM. The IAEA would also like to thank the experts for the time devoted for the preparation and execution of the course.