A comparison of pediatric and adult CT organ dose estimation methods
The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has created a task group on dose calculations, which, among other objectives, should replace the currently used mathematical MIRD phantoms by voxel phantoms. Voxel phantoms are based on digital images recorded from scanning of real persons by computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Compared to the mathematical MIRD phantoms, voxel phantoms are true to the natural representations of a human body. Connected to a radiation transport code, voxel phantoms serve as virtual humans for which equivalent dose to organs and tissues from exposure to ionizing radiation can be calculated. The principal database for the construction of the FAX (Female Adult voXel) phantom consisted of 151 CT images recorded from scanning of trunk and head of a female patient, whose body weight and height were close to the corresponding data recommended by the ICRP in Publication 89. All 22 organs and tissues at risk, except for the red bone marrow and the osteogenic cells on the endosteal surface of bone ('bone surface'), have been segmented manually with a technique recently developed at the Departamento de Energia Nuclear of the UFPE in Recife, Brazil. After segmentation the volumes of the organs and tissues have been adjusted to agree with the organ and tissue masses recommended by ICRP for the Reference Adult Female in Publication 89. Comparisons have been made with the organ and tissue masses of the mathematical EVA phantom, as well as with the corresponding data for other female voxel phantoms. The three-dimensional matrix of the segmented images has eventually been connected to the EGS4 Monte Carlo code. Effective dose conversion coefficients have been calculated for exposures to photons, and compared to data determined for the mathematical MIRD-type phantoms, as well as for other voxel phantoms.