Dose reduction in CT using bismuth shielding: measurements and Monte Carlo simulations
K. H Chang,
D. M Choo,
C. S Lee
In this research, using direct measurements and Monte Carlo calculations, the potential dose reduction achieved by bismuth shielding in computed tomography was evaluated. The patient dose was measured using an ionisation chamber in a polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) phantom that had five measurement points at the centre and periphery. Simulations were performed using the MCNPX code. For both the bare and the bismuth-shielded phantom, the differences of dose values between experiment and simulation were within 9 %. The dose reductions due to the bismuth shielding were 1.2–55 % depending on the measurement points, X-ray tube voltage and the type of shielding. The amount of dose reduction was significant for the positions covered by the bismuth shielding (34 – 46 % for head and 41 – 55 % for body phantom on average) and negligible for other peripheral positions. The artefact on the reconstructed images were minimal when the distance between the shielding and the organs was >1 cm, and hence the shielding should be selectively located to protect critical organs such as the eye lens, thyroid and breast. The simulation results using the PMMA phantom was compared with those using a realistically voxelised phantom (KTMAN-2). For eye and breast, the simulation results using the PMMA and KTMAN-2 phantoms were similar with each other, while for thyroid the simulation results were different due to the discrepancy of locations and the sizes of the phantoms. The dose reductions achieved by bismuth and lead shielding were compared with each other and the results showed that the difference of the dose reductions achieved by the two materials was less than 2–3 %.