Electron absorbed fractions and dose conversion factors for marrow and bone by skeletal regions

Health Phys. 2000 Feb;78(2):199-214. doi: 10.1097/00004032-200002000-00009.


The possible inductions of bone cancer and leukemia are the two health effects of primary concern in the irradiation of the skeleton. The relevant target tissues to consider in the dosimetric evaluation have been the cells on or near endosteal surfaces of bone, from which osteosarcomas are thought to arise, and hematopoietic bone marrow, which is associated with leukemia. The complex geometry of the soft tissue-bone intermixture makes calculations of absorbed doses to these target regions a difficult problem. In the case of photon or neutron radiations, charged particle equilibrium may not exist in the vicinity of a soft tissue-bone mineral interface. In this paper, absorbed fraction data are developed for calculations of the dose in the target tissues from electron emitters deposited within the volume or on the surfaces of trabecular bone. The skeletal average absorbed fractions presented are consistent with usage of this quantity in the contemporary dosimetric formulations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). Implementation of the new bone and marrow model is then developed within the context of the calculational schema of the Medical Internal Radiation Dose (MIRD) Committee. Model parameters relevant to the calculation of dose conversion factors (S values) for different regions of the skeleton of individuals of various age are described, and an example calculation is performed for a monoclonal antibody which localizes in the marrow. The utility of these calculations for radiation dose calculations in nuclear medicine is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Bone Marrow / radiation effects*
  • Bone Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Bone and Bones / radiation effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leukemia, Radiation-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Neutrons
  • Osteosarcoma / epidemiology
  • Photons
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Radiation Protection
  • Risk Assessment