20 CFR 718.102 - Chest roentgenograms (X-rays).
(a) A chest radiograph (X-ray) must be of suitable quality for proper classification of pneumoconiosis and must conform to the standards for administration and interpretation of chest X-rays as described in Appendix A.
(b) Chest X-rays may be produced by either film or digital radiography systems as defined in Appendix A to this part.
(c) The images described in paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this section will not be considered of suitable quality for proper classification of pneumoconiosis under this section:
(1) Digital images derived from film screen chest X-rays (e.g., by scanning or digital photography); and
(2) Images that were acquired using digital systems and then printed on transparencies for back-lighted display (e.g., using traditional view boxes).
(d) Standards for classifying radiographs:
(1) To establish the existence of pneumoconiosis, a film chest X-ray must be classified as Category 1, 2, 3, A, B, or C, in accordance with the International Labour Organization (ILO) classification system established in one of the following:
(i) Guidelines for the Use of the ILO International Classification of Radiographs of Pneumoconioses, revised edition 2011 (incorporated by reference, see § 718.5).
(ii) Guidelines for the Use of the ILO International Classification of Radiographs of Pneumoconioses, revised edition 2000 (incorporated by reference, see § 718.5).
(iii) Guidelines for the Use of ILO International Classification of Radiographs of Pneumoconioses, revised edition 1980 (incorporated by reference, see § 718.5).
(2) To establish the existence of pneumoconiosis, a digital chest radiograph must be classified as Category 1, 2, 3, A, B, or C, in accordance with the ILO classification system established in Guidelines for the Use of the ILO International Classification of Radiographs of Pneumoconioses, revised edition 2011.
(3) A chest radiograph classified under any of the foregoing ILO classification systems as Category 0, including subcategories 0-, 0/0, or 0/1, does not constitute evidence of pneumoconiosis.
(e) An X-ray report must include the following:
(1) The name and qualifications of the person who took the X-ray.
(2) The name and qualifications of the physician who interpreted the X-ray. The interpreting physician must indicate whether he or she was a Board-certified radiologist, a Board-eligible radiologist, or a Certified B Reader as defined below on the date the interpretation was made.
(i) Board-certified radiologist means that the physician is certified in radiology or diagnostic radiology by the American Board of Radiology, Inc., or the American Osteopathic Association.
(ii) Board-eligible radiologist means that the physician has successfully completed a formal accredited residency program in radiology or diagnostic radiology.
(iii) Certified B Reader means that the physician has demonstrated ongoing proficiency in evaluating chest radiographs for radiographic quality and in the use of the ILO classification for interpreting chest radiographs for pneumoconiosis and other diseases by taking and passing a specially designed proficiency examination given on behalf of or by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and has maintained that certification through the date the interpretation is made. See 42 CFR 37.52(b).
(3) A description and interpretation of the findings in terms of the ILO classification described in paragraph (d) of this section.
(4) A statement that the X-ray was interpreted in compliance with this section.
(f) Radiograph Submission: For film X-rays, the original film on which the X-ray report is based must be supplied to OWCP. For digital X-rays, a copy of the original digital object upon which the X-ray report is based, formatted to meet the standards for transmission of diagnostic chest images set forth in Appendix A, paragraph (d), must be provided to OWCP on a DVD or other media specified by OWCP. In cases where the law prohibits the parties or a physician from supplying the original film or a copy of the digital image, the report will be considered as evidence only if the original film or digital image is otherwise available to OWCP and the other parties.
(g) Where the chest X-ray of a deceased miner has been lost or destroyed, or is otherwise unavailable, a report of the chest X-ray submitted by any party may be considered in connection with the claim.
(h) Except as provided in this paragraph (h), no chest X-ray may constitute evidence of the presence or absence of pneumoconiosis unless it is conducted and reported in accordance with the requirements of this section and Appendix A. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, compliance with the requirements of Appendix A must be presumed. In the case of a deceased miner where the only available X-ray does not substantially comply with paragraphs (a) through (e) of this section, the X-ray may form the basis for a finding of the presence or absence of pneumoconiosis if it is of sufficient quality for determining whether pneumoconiosis is present and it was interpreted by a Board-certified radiologist, Board-eligible radiologist, or Certified B Reader.