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Phys Med Biol. 2010 Jul 7;55(13):3789-811. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/55/13/015. Epub 2010 Jun 15.

Deformable adult human phantoms for radiation protection dosimetry: anthropometric data representing size distributions of adult worker populations and software algorithms.

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Biomedical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180, USA.


Computational phantoms representing workers and patients are essential in estimating organ doses from various occupational radiation exposures and medical procedures. Nearly all existing phantoms, however, were purposely designed to match internal and external anatomical features of the Reference Man as defined by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). To reduce uncertainty in dose calculations caused by anatomical variations, a new generation of phantoms of varying organ and body sizes is needed. This paper presents detailed anatomical data in tables and graphs that are used to design such size-adjustable phantoms representing a range of adult individuals in terms of the body height, body weight and internal organ volume/mass. Two different sets of information are used to derive the phantom sets: (1) individual internal organ size and volume/mass distribution data derived from the recommendations of the ICRP in Publications 23 and 89 and (2) whole-body height and weight percentile data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 1999-2002). The NHANES height and weight data for 19 year old males and females are used to estimate the distributions of individuals' size, which is unknown, that corresponds to the ICRP organ and tissue distributions. This paper then demonstrates the usage of these anthropometric data in the development of deformable anatomical phantoms. A pair of phantoms--modeled entirely in mesh surfaces--of the adult male and female, RPI-adult male (AM) and RPI-adult female (AF) are used as the base for size-adjustable phantoms. To create percentile-specific phantoms from these two base phantoms, organ surface boundaries are carefully altered according to the tabulated anthropometric data. Software algorithms are developed to automatically match the organ volumes and masses with desired values. Finally, these mesh-based, percentile-specific phantoms are converted into voxel-based phantoms for Monte Carlo radiation transport simulations. This paper also compares absorbed organ doses for the RPI-AM-5th-height and -weight percentile phantom (165 cm in height and 56 kg in weight) and the RPI-AM-95th-height and -weight percentile phantom (188 cm in height and 110 kg in weight) with those for the RPI-AM-50th-height and -weight percentile phantom (176 cm in height and 73 kg in weight) from exposures to 0.5 MeV external photon beams. The results suggest a general finding that the phantoms representing a slimmer and shorter individual male received higher absorbed organ doses because of lesser degree of photon attenuation due to smaller amount of body fat. In particular, doses to the prostate and adrenal in the RPI-AM-5th-height and -weight percentile phantom is about 10% greater than those in the RPI-AM-50th-height and -weight percentile phantom approximating the ICRP Reference Man. On the other hand, the doses to the prostate and adrenal in the RPI-AM-95th-height and -weight percentile phantom are approximately 20% greater than those in the RPI-AM-50th-height and -weight percentile phantom. Although this study only considered the photon radiation of limited energies and irradiation geometries, the potential to improve the organ dose accuracy using the deformable phantom technology is clearly demonstrated.

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