Radiation shielding calculation for digital breast tomosynthesis rooms with an updated workload survey.

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To present shielding calculations for clinical digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) rooms with updated workload data from a comprehensive survey and to provide reference shielding data for DBT rooms.


The workload survey was performed from eight clinical DBT (Hologic Selenia Dimensions) rooms at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) for the time period between 10/1/2014 and 10/1/2015. Radiation output related information tags from the DICOM header, including mAs, kVp, beam filter material and gantry angle, were extracted from a total of 310 421 clinical DBT acquisitions from the PACS database. DBT workload distributions were determined from the survey data. In combination with previously measured scatter fraction data, unshielded scatter air kerma for each room was calculated. Experiment measurements with a linear-array detector were also performed on representative locations for verification. Necessary shielding material and thickness were determined for all barriers. For the general purpose of DBT room shielding, a set of workload-distribution-specific transmission data and unshielded scatter air kerma values were calculated using the updated workload distribution.


The workload distribution for Hologic DBT systems could be simplified by five different kVp/filter combinations for shielding purpose. The survey data showed the predominance of 45° gantry location for medial-lateral-oblique views at MGH. When taking into consideration the non-isotropic scatter fraction distribution together with the gantry angle distribution, accurate and conservative estimate of the unshielded scatter air kerma levels were determined for all eight DBT rooms. Additional shielding was shown to be necessary for two 4.5 cm wood doors.


This study provided a detailed workload survey and updated transmission data and unshielded scatter air kerma values for Hologic DBT rooms. Example shielding calculations were presented for clinical DBT rooms.

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