Date of Graduation


Document Type

Thesis (MS)

Program Affiliation

Medical Physics

Degree Name

Masters of Science (MS)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Dianna D. Cody, PhD

Committee Member

David Followill, PhD

Committee Member

Valen Johnson, PhD

Committee Member

A. Kyle Jones, PhD

Committee Member

John Rong, PhD


Virtual colonoscopy (VC) is a minimally invasive means for identifying colorectal polyps and colorectal lesions by insufflating a patient’s bowel, applying contrast agent via rectal catheter, and performing multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) scans. The technique is recommended for colonic health screening by the American Cancer Society but not funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) partially because of potential risks from radiation exposure. To date, no in‐vivo organ dose measurements have been performed for MDCT scans; thus, the accuracy of any current dose estimates is currently unknown.

In this study, two TLDs were affixed to the inner lumen of standard rectal catheters used in VC, and in-vivo rectal dose measurements were obtained within 6 VC patients. In order to calculate rectal dose, TLD-100 powder response was characterized at diagnostic doses such that appropriate correction factors could be determined for VC. A third-order polynomial regression with a goodness of fit factor of R2=0.992 was constructed from this data.

Rectal dose measurements were acquired with TLDs during simulated VC within a modified anthropomorphic phantom configured to represent three sizes of patients undergoing VC. The measured rectal doses decreased in an exponential manner with increasing phantom effective diameter, with R2=0.993 for the exponential regression model and a maximum percent coefficient of variation (%CoV) of 4.33%. In-vivo measurements yielded rectal doses ranged from that decreased exponentially with increasing patient effective diameter, in a manner that was also favorably predicted by the size specific dose estimate (SSDE) model for all VC patients that were of similar age, body composition, and TLD placement. The measured rectal dose within a younger patient was favorably predicted by the anthropomorphic phantom dose regression model due to similarities in the percentages of highly attenuating material at the respective measurement locations and in the placement of the TLDs. The in-vivo TLD response did not increase in %CoV with decreasing dose, and the largest %CoV was 10.0%.


CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy), in-vivo, organ dose, CT dose, size specific dose estimate (SSDE), anthropomorphic phantom, lard, TLD, CTDI, point dose



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