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||Hybrid computational phantoms of the 15-year male and female adolescent: applications to CT organ dosimetry for patients of variable morphometry.
||Lee C, Lodwick D, Williams JL, Bolch WE
||Currently, two classes of the computational phantoms have been developed for dosimetry calculation: (1) stylized (or mathematical) and (2) voxel (or tomographic) phantoms describing human anatomy through mathematical surface equations and three-dimensional labeled voxel matrices, respectively. Mathematical surface equations in stylized phantoms provide flexibility in phantom design and alteration, but the resulting anatomical description is, in many cases, not very realistic. Voxel phantoms display far better anatomical realism, but they are limited in terms of their ability to alter organ shape, position, and depth, as well as body posture. A new class of computational phantoms--called hybrid phantoms-takes advantage of the best features of stylized and voxel phantoms-flexibility and anatomical realism, respectively. In the current study, hybrid computational phantoms representing reference 15-year male and female body anatomy and anthropometry are presented. For the male phantom, organ contours were extracted from the University of Florida (UF) 14-year series B male voxel phantom, while for the female phantom, original computed tomography (CT) data from two 14-year female patients were used. Polygon mesh models for the major organs and tissues were reconstructed for nonuniform rational B-spline (NURBS) surface modeling. The resulting NURBS/polygon mesh models representing body contour and internal anatomy were matched to anthropometric data and reference organ mass data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP), respectively. Finally, two hybrid 15-year male and female phantoms were completed where a total of eight anthropometric data categories were matched to standard values within 4% and organ masses matched to ICRP data within 1% with the exception of total skin. To highlight the flexibility of the hybrid phantoms, 10th and 90th weight percentile 15-year male and female phantoms were further developed from the 50th percentile phantoms through adjustments in the body contour to match the total body masses given in CDC pediatric growth curves. The resulting six NURBS phantoms, male and female phantoms representing their 10th, 50th, and 90th weight percentiles, were used to investigate the influence of body fat distributions on internal organ doses following CT imaging. The phantoms were exposed to multislice chest and abdomen helical CT scans, and in-field organ absorbed doses were calculated. The results demonstrated that the use of traditional stylized phantoms yielded organ dose estimates that deviate from those given by the UF reference hybrid phantoms by up to a factor of 2. The study also showed that use of reference, or 50th percentile, phantoms to assess organ doses in underweight 15-year-old children would not lead to significant organ dose errors (typically less than 10%). However, more significant errors were noted (up to approximately 30%) when reference phantoms are used to represent overweight children in CT imaging dosimetry. These errors are expected to only further increase as one considers CT organ doses in overweight and obese individuals of the adult patient population, thus emphasizing the advantages of patient-sculptable phantom technology.