To establish an organ dose database for pediatric and adolescent reference individuals undergoing computed tomography (CT) examinations by using Monte Carlo simulation. The data will permit rapid estimates of organ and effective doses for patients of different age, gender, examination type, and CT scanner model.
The Monte Carlo simulation model of a Siemens Sensation 16 CT scanner previously published was employed as a base CT scanner model. A set of absorbed doses for 33 organs∕tissues normalized to the product of 100 mAs and CTDI(vol) (mGy∕100 mAs mGy) was established by coupling the CT scanner model with age-dependent reference pediatric hybrid phantoms. A series of single axial scans from the top of head to the feet of the phantoms was performed at a slice thickness of 10 mm, and at tube potentials of 80, 100, and 120 kVp. Using the established CTDI(vol)- and 100 mAs-normalized dose matrix, organ doses for different pediatric phantoms undergoing head, chest, abdomen-pelvis, and chest-abdomen-pelvis (CAP) scans with the Siemens Sensation 16 scanner were estimated and analyzed. The results were then compared with the values obtained from three independent published methods: CT-Expo software, organ dose for abdominal CT scan derived empirically from patient abdominal circumference, and effective dose per dose-length product (DLP).
Organ and effective doses were calculated and normalized to 100 mAs and CTDI(vol) for different CT examinations. At the same technical setting, dose to the organs, which were entirely included in the CT beam coverage, were higher by from 40 to 80% for newborn phantoms compared to those of 15-year phantoms. An increase of tube potential from 80 to 120 kVp resulted in 2.5-2.9-fold greater brain dose for head scans. The results from this study were compared with three different published studies and∕or techniques. First, organ doses were compared to those given by CT-Expo which revealed dose differences up to several-fold when organs were partially included in the scan coverage. Second, selected organ doses from our calculations agreed to within 20% of values derived from empirical formulae based upon measured patient abdominal circumference. Third, the existing DLP-to-effective dose conversion coefficients tended to be smaller than values given in the present study for all examinations except head scans.
A comprehensive organ∕effective dose database was established to readily calculate doses for given patients undergoing different CT examinations. The comparisons of our results with the existing studies highlight that use of hybrid phantoms with realistic anatomy is important to improve the accuracy of CT organ dosimetry. The comprehensive pediatric dose data developed here are the first organ-specific pediatric CT scan database based on the realistic pediatric hybrid phantoms which are compliant with the reference data from the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). The organ dose database is being coupled with an adult organ dose database recently published as part of the development of a user-friendly computer program enabling rapid estimates of organ and effective dose doses for patients of any age, gender, examination types, and CT scanner model.