Response functions for computing absorbed dose to skeletal tissues from photon irradiation - An update

Perry B. Johnson, Amir A. Bahadori, Keith F. Eckerman, Choonsik Lee, Wesley E. Bolch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


A comprehensive set of photon fluence-to-dose response functions (DRFs) is presented for two radiosensitive skeletal tissues - active and total shallow marrow - within 15 and 32 bone sites, respectively, of the ICRP reference adult male. The functions were developed using fractional skeletal masses and associated electron-absorbed fractions as reported for the UF hybrid adult male phantom, which in turn is based upon micro-CT images of trabecular spongiosa taken from a 40 year male cadaver. The new DRFs expand upon both the original set of seven functions produced in 1985, and a 2007 update calculated under the assumption of secondary electron escape from spongiosa. In this study, it is assumed that photon irradiation of the skeleton will yield charged particle equilibrium across all spongiosa regions at energies exceeding 200 keV. Kerma coefficients for active marrow, inactive marrow, trabecular bone and spongiosa at higher energies are calculated using the DRF algorithm setting the electron-absorbed fraction for self-irradiation to unity. By comparing kerma coefficients and DRF functions, dose enhancement factors and mass energy-absorption coefficient (MEAC) ratios for active marrow to spongiosa were derived. These MEAC ratios compared well with those provided by the NIST Physical Reference Data Library (mean difference of 0.8%), and the dose enhancement factors for active marrow compared favorably with values calculated in the well-known study published by King and Spiers (1985 Br. J. Radiol. 58 345-56) (mean absolute difference of 1.9 percentage points). Additionally, dose enhancement factors for active marrow were shown to correlate well with the shallow marrow volume fraction (R2 = 0.91). Dose enhancement factors for the total shallow marrow were also calculated for 32 bone sites representing the first such derivation for this target tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2347-2365
Number of pages19
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 21 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Response functions for computing absorbed dose to skeletal tissues from photon irradiation - An update'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this