Patient-specific computational model and dosimetry calculations for PET/CT of a patient pregnant with twins

Tianwu Xie, Paolo Zanotti-Fregonara, Agathe Edet-Sanson, Habib Zaidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The radiation dose delivered to pregnant patients during radiologic imaging procedures raises health concerns because the developing embryo and fetus are considered to be highly radiosensitive. To appropriately weigh the diagnostic benefits against the radiation risks, the radiologist needs reasonably accurate and detailed estimates of the fetal dose. Expanding our previously developed series of computational phantoms for pregnant women, we here describe a personalized model for twin pregnancy, based on an actual clinical scan. Methods: The model is based on a standardized hybrid pregnant female and fetus phantom and on a clinical case of a patient who underwent an 18F-FDG PET/CT scan while expecting twins at 25 weeks' gestation. This model enabled us to produce a realistic physical representation of the pregnant patient and to estimate the maternal and fetal organ doses from the 18FFDG and CT components. The Monte Carlo N-Particle Extended general-purpose code was used for radiation transport simulation. Results: The 18F-FDG doses for the 2 fetuses were 3.78 and 3.99 mGy, and the CT doses were 0.76 and 0.70 mGy, respectively. Therefore, the relative contribution of 18F-FDG and CT to the total dose to the fetuses was about 84% and 16%, respectively. Meanwhile, for 18F-FDG, the calculated personalized absorbed dose was about 40%-50% higher than the doses reported by other dosimetry computer software tools. Conclusion: Our approach to constructing personalized computational models allows estimation of a patient- specific radiation dose, even in cases with unusual anatomic features such as a twin pregnancy. Our results also show that, even in twins, the fetal organ doses from both 18F-FDG and CT present a certain variability linked to the anatomic characteristics. The CT fetal dose is smaller than the 18F-FDG PET dose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1451-1458
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • CT
  • Fetus
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • Pregnant female models
  • Radiation dosimetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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