Comparison of different calculation techniques for absorbed dose assessment in patient specific peptide receptor radionuclide therapy

Domenico Finocchiaro, Salvatore Berenato, Valentina Bertolini, Gastone Castellani, Nico Lanconelli, Annibale Versari, Emiliano Spezi, Mauro Iori, Federica Fioroni, Elisa Grassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIM: The present work concerns the comparison of the performances of three systems for dosimetry in RPT that use different techniques for absorbed dose calculation (organ-level dosimetry, voxel-level dose kernel convolution and Monte Carlo simulations). The aim was to assess the importance of the choice of the most adequate calculation modality, providing recommendations about the choice of the computation tool.

METHODS: The performances were evaluated both on phantoms and patients in a multi-level approach. Different phantoms filled with a 177Lu-radioactive solution were used: a homogeneous cylindrical phantom, a phantom with organ-shaped inserts and two cylindrical phantoms with inserts different for shape and volume. A total of 70 patients with NETs treated by PRRT with 177Lu-DOTATOC were retrospectively analysed.

RESULTS: The comparisons were performed mainly between the mean values of the absorbed dose in the regions of interest. A general better agreement was obtained between Dose kernel convolution and Monte Carlo simulations results rather than between either of these two and organ-level dosimetry, both for phantoms and patients. Phantoms measurements also showed the discrepancies mainly depend on the geometry of the inserts (e.g. shape and volume). For patients, differences were more pronounced than phantoms and higher inter/intra patient variability was observed.

CONCLUSION: This study suggests that voxel-level techniques for dosimetry calculation are potentially more accurate and personalized than organ-level methods. In particular, a voxel-convolution method provides good results in a short time of calculation, while Monte Carlo based computation should be conducted with very fast calculation systems for a possible use in clinics, despite its intrinsic higher accuracy. Attention to the calculation modality is recommended in case of clinical regions of interest with irregular shape and far from spherical geometry, in which Monte Carlo seems to be more accurate than voxel-convolution methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0236466
JournalPLoS One
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Algorithms
  • Humans
  • Lutetium/chemistry
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Phantoms, Imaging/statistics & numerical data
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radioisotopes/chemistry
  • Radiometry/statistics & numerical data
  • Receptors, Peptide/chemistry
  • Retrospective Studies


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