Air Kerma Calculation in Diagnostic Medical Imaging Devices Using Group Method of Data Handling Network

Diagnostics (Basel). 2023 Apr 14;13(8):1418. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics13081418.


The air kerma, which is the amount of energy given off by a radioactive substance, is essential for medical specialists who use radiation to diagnose cancer problems. The amount of energy that a photon has when it hits something can be described as the air kerma (the amount of energy that was deposited in the air when the photon passed through it). Radiation beam intensity is represented by this value. Hospital X-ray equipment has to account for the heel effect, which means that the borders of the picture obtain a lesser radiation dosage than the center, and that air kerma is not symmetrical. The voltage of the X-ray machine can also affect the uniformity of the radiation. This work presents a model-based approach to predict air kerma at various locations inside the radiation field of medical imaging instruments, making use of just a small number of measurements. Group Method of Data Handling (GMDH) neural networks are suggested for this purpose. Firstly, a medical X-ray tube was modeled using Monte Carlo N Particle (MCNP) code simulation algorithm. X-ray tubes and detectors make up medical X-ray CT imaging systems. An X-ray tube's electron filament, thin wire, and metal target produce a picture of the electrons' target. A small rectangular electron source modeled electron filaments. An electron source target was a thin, 19,290 kg/m3 tungsten cube in a tubular hoover chamber. The electron source-object axis of the simulation object is 20° from the vertical. For most medical X-ray imaging applications, the kerma of the air was calculated at a variety of discrete locations within the conical X-ray beam, providing an accurate data set for network training. Various locations were taken into account in the aforementioned voltages inside the radiation field as the input of the GMDH network. For diagnostic radiology applications, the trained GMDH model could determine the air kerma at any location in the X-ray field of view and for a wide range of X-ray tube voltages with a Mean Relative Error (MRE) of less than 0.25%. This study yielded the following results: (1) The heel effect is included when calculating air kerma. (2) Computing the air kerma using an artificial neural network trained with minimal data. (3) An artificial neural network quickly and reliably calculated air kerma. (4) Figuring out the air kerma for the operating voltage of medical tubes. The high accuracy of the trained neural network in determining air kerma guarantees the usability of the presented method in operational conditions.

Keywords: GMDH neural network; X-ray tube; air kerma; medical diagnostic radiology.

Grants and funding

This work is supported by the Research Foundation of Hangzhou Dianzi University (KYS335622091; KYH333122029M).