Physical models and dose factors for use in internal dose assessment

Health Phys. 2003 Sep;85(3):294-310. doi: 10.1097/00004032-200309000-00006.


Internal dose assessment depends on the use of mathematical formulas for dose calculation and models of the human body and its organs. A simple, unified method for internal dose calculations is described, which brings together and simplifies concepts used in nuclear medicine and occupational internal dose systems previously described. Using the best current decay data and phantoms for internal dose calculations, dose factors for internal dose assessment are provided. Decay data for over 800 radionuclides from the data service at Brookhaven National Laboratory were combined with absorbed fraction data from a number of currently available mathematical whole body and organ models to provide the dose factors. This represents the first published update on nuclear medicine dose factors since MIRD Pamphlet No. 11 in 1975; in this paper, dose factors for many more nuclides are given (816 vs. 117 in MIRD 11), including some alpha emitters. New models are also employed, and dose factors for bone and marrow have been updated with recently suggested corrections. The good agreement of the new dose factors with previously published values for several of the models gives good confidence in their accuracy. This article gives an overview of the technical basis for these dose factors and some example tables of data, but the bulk of the data files will be distributed electronically. The use of an "electronic publishing" approach permits the publication of this kind of voluminous information in mainstream journals while facilitating rapid access and use without the need to purchase often expensive and bulky paper documents.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Computer Simulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Pregnancy
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radioisotopes / analysis*
  • Radioisotopes / pharmacokinetics*
  • Radiometry / methods*
  • Radiometry / standards*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Assessment / standards
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • United States
  • Whole-Body Irradiation / methods


  • Radioisotopes