Convolution-based estimation of organ dose in tube current modulated CT.
Estimating organ dose for clinical patients requires accurate modeling of the patient anatomy and the dose field of the CT exam. The modeling of patient anatomy can be achieved using a library of representative computational phantoms (Samei et al 2014 Pediatr. Radiol. 44 460-7). The modeling of the dose field can be challenging for CT exams performed with a tube current modulation (TCM) technique. The purpose of this work was to effectively model the dose field for TCM exams using a convolution-based method. A framework was further proposed for prospective and retrospective organ dose estimation in clinical practice. The study included 60 adult patients (age range: 18-70 years, weight range: 60-180 kg). Patient-specific computational phantoms were generated based on patient CT image datasets. A previously validated Monte Carlo simulation program was used to model a clinical CT scanner (SOMATOM Definition Flash, Siemens Healthcare, Forchheim, Germany). A practical strategy was developed to achieve real-time organ dose estimation for a given clinical patient. CTDIvol-normalized organ dose coefficients ([Formula: see text]) under constant tube current were estimated and modeled as a function of patient size. Each clinical patient in the library was optimally matched to another computational phantom to obtain a representation of organ location/distribution. The patient organ distribution was convolved with a dose distribution profile to generate [Formula: see text] values that quantified the regional dose field for each organ. The organ dose was estimated by multiplying [Formula: see text] with the organ dose coefficients ([Formula: see text]). To validate the accuracy of this dose estimation technique, the organ dose of the original clinical patient was estimated using Monte Carlo program with TCM profiles explicitly modeled. The discrepancy between the estimated organ dose and dose simulated using TCM Monte Carlo program was quantified. We further compared the convolution-based organ dose estimation method with two other strategies with different approaches of quantifying the irradiation field. The proposed convolution-based estimation method showed good accuracy with the organ dose simulated using the TCM Monte Carlo simulation. The average percentage error (normalized by CTDIvol) was generally within 10% across all organs and modulation profiles, except for organs located in the pelvic and shoulder regions. This study developed an improved method that accurately quantifies the irradiation field under TCM scans. The results suggested that organ dose could be estimated in real-time both prospectively (with the localizer information only) and retrospectively (with acquired CT data).
Tian, X; Segars, WP; Dixon, RL; Samei, E
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