Organ S values and effective doses for family members exposed to adult patients following I-131 treatment: A Monte Carlo simulation study




To calculate organ S values (mGy/Bq-s) and effective doses per time-integrated activity (mSv/Bq-s) for pediatric and adult family members exposed to an adult male or female patient treated with I-131 using a series of hybrid computational phantoms coupled with a Monte Carlo radiation transport technique.


A series of pediatric and adult hybrid computational phantoms were employed in the study. Three different exposure scenarios were considered: (1) standing face-to-face exposures between an adult patient and pediatric or adult family phantoms at five different separation distances; (2) an adult female patient holding her newborn child, and (3) a 1-yr-old child standing on the lap of an adult female patient. For the adult patient model, two different thyroid-related diseases were considered: hyperthyroidism and differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) with corresponding internal distributions of131I. A general purpose Monte Carlo code, MCNPX v2.7, was used to perform the Monte Carlo radiation transport.


The S values show a strong dependency on age and organ location within the family phantoms at short distances. The S values and effective dose per time-integrated activity from the adult female patient phantom are relatively high at shorter distances and to younger family phantoms. At a distance of 1 m, effective doses per time-integrated activity are lower than those values based on the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) by a factor of 2 for both adult male and female patient phantoms. The S values to target organs from the hyperthyroid-patient source distribution strongly depend on the height of the exposed family phantom, so that their values rapidly decrease with decreasing height of the family phantom. Active marrow of the 10-yr-old phantom shows the highest S values among family phantoms for the DTC-patient source distribution. In the exposure scenario of mother and baby, S values and effective doses per time-integrated activity to the newborn and 1-yr-old phantoms for a hyperthyroid-patient source are higher than values for a DTC-patient source.


The authors performed realistic assessments of131I organ S values and effective dose per time-integrated activity from adult patients treated for hyperthyroidism and DTC to family members. In addition, the authors’ studies consider Monte Carlo simulated “mother and baby/child” exposure scenarios for the first time. Based on these results, the authors reconfirm the strong conservatism underlying the point source method recommended by the US NRC. The authors recommend that various factors such as the type of the patient's disease, the age of family members, and the distance/posture between the patient and family members must be carefully considered to provide realistic dose estimates for patient-to-family exposures.