Estimating peak skin and eye lens dose from neuroperfusion examinations: Use of Monte Carlo based simulations and comparisons to CTDIvol, AAPM Report No. 111, and ImPACT dosimetry tool values

Di Zhang, Chris H. Cagnon, J. Pablo Villablanca, Cynthia H. McCollough, Dianna D. Cody, Maria Zankl, John J. Demarco, Michael F. McNitt-Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: CT neuroperfusion examinations are capable of delivering high radiation dose to the skin or lens of the eyes of a patient and can possibly cause deterministic radiation injury. The purpose of this study is to: (a) estimate peak skin dose and eye lens dose from CT neuroperfusion examinations based on several voxelized adult patient models of different head size and (b) investigate how well those doses can be approximated by some commonly used CT dose metrics or tools, such as CTDIvol, American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) Report No. 111 style peak dose measurements, and the ImPACT organ dose calculator spreadsheet. Methods: Monte Carlo simulation methods were used to estimate peak skin and eye lens dose on voxelized patient models, including GSF's Irene, Frank, Donna, and Golem, on four scanners from the major manufacturers at the widest collimation under all available tube potentials. Doses were reported on a per 100 mAs basis. CTDIvol measurements for a 16 cm CTDI phantom, AAPM Report No. 111 style peak dose measurements, and ImPACT calculations were performed for available scanners at all tube potentials. These were then compared with results from Monte Carlo simulations. Results: The dose variations across the different voxelized patient models were small. Dependent on the tube potential and scanner and patient model, CTDIvol values overestimated peak skin dose by 26%-65%, and overestimated eye lens dose by 33%-106%, when compared to Monte Carlo simulations. AAPM Report No. 111 style measurements were much closer to peak skin estimates ranging from a 14% underestimate to a 33% overestimate, and with eye lens dose estimates ranging from a 9% underestimate to a 66% overestimate. The ImPACT spreadsheet overestimated eye lens dose by 2%-82% relative to voxelized model simulations. Conclusions: CTDIvol consistently overestimates dose to eye lens and skin. The ImPACT tool also overestimated dose to eye lenses. As such they are still useful as a conservative predictor of dose for CT neuroperfusion studies. AAPM Report No. 111 style measurements are a better predictor of both peak skin and eye lens dose than CTDIvol and ImPACT for the patient models used in this study. It should be remembered that both the AAPM Report No. 111 peak dose metric and CTDIvol dose metric are dose indices and were not intended to represent actual organ doses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number091901
JournalMedical physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013



  • Monte Carlo
  • computed tomography
  • neuroperfusion
  • radiation dose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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