Dose coefficients of percentile-specific computational phantoms for photon external exposures

  • Yeon Soo Yeom
  • Haegin Han
  • Chansoo Choi
  • Bangho Shin
  • Chan Hyeong KimEmail author
  • Choonsik Lee
Original Article


The use of dose coefficients (DCs) based on the reference phantoms recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) with a fixed body size may produce errors to the estimated organ/tissue doses to be used, for example, for epidemiologic studies depending on the body size of cohort members. A set of percentile-specific computational phantoms that represent 10th, 50th, and 90th percentile standing heights and body masses in adult male and female Caucasian populations were recently developed by modifying the mesh-type ICRP reference computational phantoms (MRCPs). In the present study, these percentile-specific phantoms were used to calculate a comprehensive dataset of body-size-dependent DCs for photon external exposures by performing Monte Carlo dose calculations with the Geant4 code. The dataset includes the DCs of absorbed doses for 29 individual organs/tissues from 0.01 to 104 MeV photon energy, in the antero-posterior, postero-anterior, right lateral, left lateral, rotational, and isotropic geometries. The body-size-dependent DCs were compared with the DCs of the MRCPs in the reference body size, showing that the DCs of the MRCPs are generally similar to those of the 50th percentile standing height and body mass phantoms over the entire photon energy region except for low energies (≤ 0.03 MeV); the differences are mostly less than 10%. In contrast, there are significant differences in the DCs between the MRCPs and the 10th and 90th percentile standing height and body mass phantoms (i.e., H10M10 and H90M90). At energies of less than about 10 MeV, the MRCPs tended to under- and over-estimate the organ/tissue doses of the H10M10 and H90M90 phantoms, respectively. This tendency was revised at higher energies. The DCs of the percentile-specific phantoms were also compared with the previously published values of another phantom sets with similar body sizes, showing significant differences particularly at energies below about 0.1 MeV, which is mainly due to the different locations and depths of organs/tissues between the different phantom libraries. The DCs established in the present study should be useful to improve the dosimetric accuracy in the reconstructions of organ/tissue doses for individuals in risk assessment for epidemiologic investigations taking body sizes into account.


Body size Computational phantom Photon Dose coefficient Monte Carlo 



This work was funded by the intramural program of the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. This work was also supported by the Nuclear Safety Research Development (NSR&D) Program through the Korea Foundation of Nuclear Safety (KOFONS) funded by the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) and by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning through the National Research Foundation of Korea (Project nos.: 1705006, 2016R1D1A1A09916337). One of the authors (Yeon Soo Yeom) was supported by a grant of the Korean Health Technology R&D Project through the Korean Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (Project no: H18C2257). Two of the authors (Chansoo Choi and Haegin Han) were supported by the Global PhD Fellowship program (Project nos.: NRF-2017H1A2A1046391, NRF-2018H1A2A1059767). The calculations in this work were performed on the National Institutes of Health’s High-Performance Computing Biowulf cluster (

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

411_2019_818_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (1.4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 1411 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Cancer Epidemiology and GeneticsNational Cancer Institute, National Institutes of HealthRockvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Nuclear EngineeringHanyang UniversitySeoulKorea

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