Determining paediatric patient thickness from a single digital radiograph – a proof of principle

Mark Worrall (Lead / Corresponding author), Sarah Vinnicombe, David G. Sutton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Objective: This work presents a proof of principle for a method of estimating the thickness of an attenuator from a single radiograph using the image, the exposure factors with which it was acquired and a priori knowledge of the characteristics of the X-ray unit and detector used for the exposure. It is intended this could be developed into a clinical tool to assist with paediatric patient dose audit, for which a measurement of patient size is required.

Methods: The proof of principle used measured pixel value and effective linear attenuation coefficient to estimate the thickness of a Solid Water attenuator. The kerma at the detector was estimated using a measurement of pixel value on the image and measured detector calibrations. The initial kerma was estimated using a lookup table of measured output values. The effective linear attenuation coefficient was measured for Solid Water at varying kVp. 11 test images of known and varying thicknesses of Solid Water were acquired at 60, 70 and 81 kVp. Estimates of attenuator thickness were made using the model and the results compared to the known thickness.

Results: Estimates of attenuator thickness made using the model differed from the known thickness by 3.8 mm (3.2%) on average, with a range of 0.5-10.8 mm (0.5-9%).

Conclusion: A proof of principle is presented for a method of estimating the thickness of an attenuator using a single radiograph of the attenuator. The method has been shown to be accurate using a Solid Water attenuator, with a maximum difference between estimated and known attenuator thickness of 10.8 mm (9%). The method shows promise as a clinical tool for estimating abdominal paediatric patient thickness for paediatric patient dose audit, and is only contingent on the type of data routinely collected by Medical Physics departments.

Advances in knowledge: A computational model has been created that is capable of accurately estimating the thickness of a uniform attenuator using only the radiographic image, the exposure factors with which it was acquired and a priori knowledge of the characteristics of the X-ray unit and detector used for the exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20180139
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
Volume91
Issue number1087
Early online date27 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • Child
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Proof of Concept Study
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement/instrumentation
  • Radiometry
  • Scattering, Radiation

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  • Student Theses

    Development of a method for automating effective patient diameter estimation for digital radiography

    Author: Worrall, M., 2019

    Supervisor: Sutton, D. (Supervisor) & Vinnicombe, S. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

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