Estimating surface radiation dose from Multidetector CT: Cylindrical phantoms, Anthropomorphic phantoms and Monte Carlo Simulations

J. J. DeMarco, C. H. Cagnon, D. D. Cody, D. M. Stevens, C. H. McCollough, J. O'Daniel, M. F. McNitt-Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Multidetector CT (MDCT) systems offer larger coverage and wider z-axis beams, resulting in larger cone angles. One impact on radiation dose is that while radiation profiles at isocenter are constant when contiguous axial scans are performed, the increased beam divergence from the larger cone angle results in significant surface dose variation. The purpose of this work was to measure the magnitude of this effect. Contiguous axial scans were acquired using an MDCT for two sizes of cylindrical phantoms and an anthropomorphic phantom. Film dosimetry and/or radiation detector measurements were performed on the surface of each phantom. Detailed mathematical models were developed for the MDCT scanner and all phantoms. Monte Carlo simulations of contiguous axial scans were performed for each phantom model. From cylindrical phantoms, film dosimetry at the surface showed differences between peak and valley that reached 50%. From the anthropomorphic phantom, measured values ranged from 7.9 to 16.2 mGy at the phantom surface. Monte Carlo simulations demonstrated these variations in both cylindrical and anthropomorphic phantoms. The magnitude of variation was also related to object size. Even when contiguous axial scans are performed on MDCT, surface radiation profiles show considerable variation. This variation will increase as MDCT cone angles increase and when non-contiguous scans (e.g. pitch > 1) are acquired. The variation is also a function of object size. While average surface doses may remain constant, peak doses may increase, which may be significant for radiation sensitive organs at or near the surface (e.g. breast, thyroid).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13
Pages (from-to)102-112
Number of pages11
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
Issue numberI
StatePublished - Aug 25 2005
EventMedical Imaging 2005 - Physics of Medical Imaging - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 13 2005Feb 15 2005


  • CT
  • Measurement
  • Multidetector CT
  • Radiation dose
  • X-ray computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Estimating surface radiation dose from Multidetector CT: Cylindrical phantoms, Anthropomorphic phantoms and Monte Carlo Simulations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this