Calculation of organ doses in x-ray examinations of premature babies

Kristien Smans, Markku Tapiovaara, Mieke Cannie, Lara Struelens, Filip Vanhavere, Marleen Smet, Hilde Bosmans

    Research outputpeer-review


    In the evaluation of the neonatal chest, the primary and most important diagnostic study is the chest radiograph. Since prematurely born children are very sensitive to radiation, those radiographs may lead to a significant radiation detriment. Knowledge of the radiation dose is therefore necessary to justify the exposures. To calculate doses in the entire body and in specific organs, computational models of the human anatomy are needed. Using medical imaging techniques, voxel phantoms have been developed to achieve a representation as close as possible to the anatomical properties. In this study two voxel phantoms, representing prematurely born babies, were created from computed tomography- and magnetic resonance images: Phantom 1 (1910 g) and Phantom 2 (590 g). The two voxel phantoms were used in Monte Carlo calculations (MCNPX) to assess organ doses. The results were compared with the commercially available software package PCXMC in which the available mathematical phantoms can be downsized toward the prematurely born baby. The simple phantomscaling method used in PCXMC seems to be sufficient to calculate doses for organs within the radiation field. However, one should be careful in specifying the irradiation geometry.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)556-568
    JournalMedical Physics
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 23 Jan 2008

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