Software for Calculating Dose and Risk

  • Georg Stamm
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


Calculation or even rough estimation of patient dose and risk is a rather complicated and time-consuming process. Software tools may help to at least facilitate the calculations assuming some necessary simplifications. The different approaches from on-line tools and calculators for mobile devices for a quick mean dose display for selected regions up to examples for precise Monte-Carlo simulations for real scanner setups will be presented. As every patient has his own geometry and constitution it is nearly impossible to calculate individual dose values. To at least calculate data to compare the performance of different scanners or to benchmark own scan protocols a common used approach is using standard sized patient phantoms and databases matching the design and setup of different scanners. Due to rapidly evolving scanner technique with sophisticated methods of tube current modulations which cannot be covered by the dose calculators the use of some simplifications using mean conversion factors or mean values for the tube current are necessary to estimate a mean dose to the standard sized patient within a range of ±15%. This also holds for all calculations for specific organ dose values like uterus dose and eye-lens dose. Individual or personalized dose estimates will remain a task for future work.


Conversion Factor Dose Calculator Tube Current Modulation Dose Area Product Automatic Exposure Control 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


On-line Calculators and Software Using Conversion Factors

  1. Alessio AM, Phillips GS (2010) A pediatric CT dose and risk estimator. Pediatric Radiol 40:1816–1821. Google Scholar
  2. Bongartz G, Golding SJ, Jurik AG, Leonardi M, van Persijn van Meerten E, Rodríguez R, Schneider K, Calzado A, Geleijns J, Jessen KA, Panzer W, Shrimpton PC, Tosi G (2004) European guidelines for multislice computed tomography. Funded by the European commission. Contract number FIGM-CT2000-20078-CT-TIP, March 2004.
  3. Bor D, Sancak T, Olgar T, Elcim Y, Adanali A, Sanlidilek U, Akyar S (2004) Comparison of effective doses obtained from dose-area product and air kerma measurements in interventional radiology. Br J Radiol 77:315–322PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  5. Le Heron JC (1992) Estimation of effective dose to the patient during medical X-ray examinations from measurements of the dose-area product. Phys Med Biol 37:2117–2126PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. QuickDose (Windows Mobile 6 Smartphone® and Windows®)
  7. RADAR Medical Procedure Radiation Dose Calculator (
  8. Radiation Dose to Risk Converter (
  9. Shrimpton PC (2004) Assessment of patient dose in CT; NRPB-PE/1/2004.
  10. Takahashi F et al (2011a) WAZA-ARI computational dosimetry system for X-ray CT examinations. I. Radiation transport calculation for organ and tissue doses evaluation using JM phantom. Radiat Prot Dosim 146:241–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Software Packages Including Scanner Design Factors

  1. CT-Expo (Demo version).
  2. Kramer R, Zankl M, Williams G, Drexler G (1982) The calculation of dose from external photon exposures using reference human phantoms and Monte Carlo methods: part I. the male (Adam) and female (Eva) adult mathematical phantoms. GSF-Report S-885 (Neuherberg: GSF—National Research Center for Environment and Health)Google Scholar
  3. Osei E, Barnett R (2009) Software for the estimation of organ equivalent and effective doses from diagnostic radiology procedures. J Radiol Prot 29:361–376PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Osei E, Darko J, Faulkner K, Kotre C (2003) Software for the estimation of foetal radiation dose to patients and staff in diagnostic radiology. J Radiol Prot 23:183–194PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Zankl M, Panzer W, Drexler G (1993) Tomographic anthropomorphic models, part II: organ doses from computed tomographic examinations in paediatric radiology. GSF-Report 30/93 (Neuherberg: GSF—National Research Center for Environment and Health)Google Scholar

Software for Monte Carlo Simulation and Voxel Phantoms

  1. Cassola VF, Milian FM, Kramer R, de Oliveira Lira CAB, Khoury HJ (2011) Standing adult human phantoms based on 10th, 50th and 90th mass and height percentiles of male and female Caucasian populations. Phys Med Biol 56:3749–3772PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. EGSnrc package for the Monte Carlo simulation of coupled electron-photon transport.
  3. Geant4 Geometry and Tracking.
  4. Hunt JG, Da Silva FCA, Mauricio LP, Dos Santos DS (2004) The validation of organ dose calculations using voxel phantoms and Monte Carlo methods applied to point and water immersion sources. Radiat Prot Dosim 108:85–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  6. Kramer R, Khoury HJ, Vieira JW, Lima VJM, Lima FRA, Hoff G (2004) All about FAX: a Female Adult voxel phantom for Monte Carlo calculation in radiation protection dosimetry. Phys Med Biol 49:5203–5216PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. MCNP General Monte Carlo N-Particle Transport Code or the eXtended version MCNPX. and
  8. Petoussi-Henss N, Zankl M, Fill U, Regulla D (2002) The GSF family of voxel phantoms. Phys Med Biol 47:89–106PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Voigt JM, Wulff J, Danova D, Fiebich M (2010) Simulation der Dosisverteilung bei Cone-Beam-CT Untersuchungen mit GMctdospp 41. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Physik – Tagungsband 2010 (in German).
  10. Zankl M (2010) The GSF voxel computational phantom family. In: George Xu X, Eckerman KF (eds) Handbook of anatomical models for radiation dosimetry, Chapter 3. Taylor & Francis, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  11. Zankl M, Panzer W, Herrmann C (2000) Calculation of patient doses using a human voxel phantom of variable diameter. Radiat Prot Dosim 90:155–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Other Software Packages, Mainly for Conventional X-rays

  1. Annual Report of the German Radiation Protection Board (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz) 2008, 246.
  2. FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administrative Staff - Mobile Medical Applications.
  3. Kim C-H, Cho SH, Xu XG (2006) PRDC - a software package for personnel radiation dose calculation. Radiat Prot Dosim 118:243–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. UterusDose, Excel spreadsheet.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medizinische Hochschule HannoverInstitut für Diagnostische und Interventionelle RadiologieHannoverGermany

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