Computational lymphatic node models in pediatric and adult hybrid phantoms for radiation dosimetry

Phys Med Biol. 2013 Mar 7;58(5):N59-82. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/58/5/N59. Epub 2013 Feb 8.


We developed models of lymphatic nodes for six pediatric and two adult hybrid computational phantoms to calculate the lymphatic node dose estimates from external and internal radiation exposures. We derived the number of lymphatic nodes from the recommendations in International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) Publications 23 and 89 at 16 cluster locations for the lymphatic nodes: extrathoracic, cervical, thoracic (upper and lower), breast (left and right), mesentery (left and right), axillary (left and right), cubital (left and right), inguinal (left and right) and popliteal (left and right), for different ages (newborn, 1-, 5-, 10-, 15-year-old and adult). We modeled each lymphatic node within the voxel format of the hybrid phantoms by assuming that all nodes have identical size derived from published data except narrow cluster sites. The lymph nodes were generated by the following algorithm: (1) selection of the lymph node site among the 16 cluster sites; (2) random sampling of the location of the lymph node within a spherical space centered at the chosen cluster site; (3) creation of the sphere or ovoid of tissue representing the node based on lymphatic node characteristics defined in ICRP Publications 23 and 89. We created lymph nodes until the pre-defined number of lymphatic nodes at the selected cluster site was reached. This algorithm was applied to pediatric (newborn, 1-, 5-and 10-year-old male, and 15-year-old males) and adult male and female ICRP-compliant hybrid phantoms after voxelization. To assess the performance of our models for internal dosimetry, we calculated dose conversion coefficients, called S values, for selected organs and tissues with Iodine-131 distributed in six lymphatic node cluster sites using MCNPX2.6, a well validated Monte Carlo radiation transport code. Our analysis of the calculations indicates that the S values were significantly affected by the location of the lymph node clusters and that the values increased for smaller phantoms due to the shorter inter-organ distances compared to the bigger phantoms. By testing sensitivity of S values to random sampling and voxel resolution, we confirmed that the lymph node model is reasonably stable and consistent for different random samplings and voxel resolutions.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / metabolism
  • Lymph Nodes / metabolism
  • Lymph Nodes / radiation effects*
  • Male
  • Phantoms, Imaging*
  • Radiometry / instrumentation*


  • Iodine Radioisotopes