Size-specific dose estimate (SSDE) provides a simple method to calculate organ dose for pediatric CT examinations

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To investigate the correlation of size-specific dose estimate (SSDE) with absorbed organ dose, and to develop a simple methodology for estimating patient organ dose in a pediatric population (5-55 kg).


Four physical anthropomorphic phantoms representing a range of pediatric body habitus were scanned with metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET) dosimeters placed at 23 organ locations to determine absolute organ dose. Phantom absolute organ dose was divided by phantom SSDE to determine correlation between organ dose and SSDE. Organ dose correlation factors (Symbol) were then multiplied by patient-specific SSDE to estimate patient organ dose. The Symbol were used to retrospectively estimate individual organ doses from 352 chest and 241 abdominopelvic pediatric CT examinations, where mean patient weight was 22 kg ± 15 (range 5-55 kg), and mean patient age was 6 yrs ± 5 (range 4 months to 23 yrs). Patient organ dose estimates were compared to published pediatric Monte Carlo study results.


Phantom effective diameters were matched with patient population effective diameters to within 4 cm; thus, showing appropriate scalability of the phantoms across the entire pediatric population in this study. IndividualSymbol were determined for a total of 23 organs in the chest and abdominopelvic region across nine weight subcategories. For organs fully covered by the scan volume, correlation in the chest (average 1.1; range 0.7-1.4) and abdominopelvic region (average 0.9; range 0.7-1.3) was near unity. For organ/tissue that extended beyond the scan volume (i.e., skin, bone marrow, and bone surface), correlation was determined to be poor (average 0.3; range: 0.1-0.4) for both the chest and abdominopelvic regions, respectively. A means to estimate patient organ dose was demonstrated. Calculated patient organ dose, using patient SSDE and Symbol, was compared to previously published pediatric patient doses that accounted for patient size in their dose calculation, and was found to agree in the chest to better than an average of 5% (27.6/26.2) and in the abdominopelvic region to better than 2% (73.4/75.0).


For organs fully covered within the scan volume, the average correlation of SSDE and organ absolute dose was found to be better than ±10%. In addition, this study provides a complete list of organ dose correlation factors (Symbol) for the chest and abdominopelvic regions, and describes a simple methodology to estimate individual pediatric patient organ dose based on patient SSDE.

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