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Energy Dependent Chest Wall Thickness Equations for Male Lung Monitoring with Germanium Detectors

Broggio, D.*; Lechaftois, X.*; Abline, O.; Fleury, B.; Vial, A.; Corrèze, P.; Franck, D.*; Merzoug, V.

doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e3182a03a41
Operational Topic

The thickness and fat fraction of the chest wall are important parameters for in vivo lung monitoring. They have been measured from ultrasonic images on 374 male workers of the French nuclear industry using four measurement locations, as dictated by the size and position of the germanium detectors used for monitoring. The plastic muscle equivalent chest wall thickness (PMECWT) and the plastic 50% muscle–50% adipose equivalent chest wall thickness (X5050) have been calculated for each worker at 17, 59.5, and 185.7 keV, respectively. Multi-linear regression models have been tested to predict PMECWT and X5050 as a function of anthropometric measurements. Finally, it was considered whether the average chest wall thickness could be used instead of the material equivalent chest wall thickness. It was found that the mean chest wall thickness was (27 ± 5) mm and the mean fat fraction was (25 ± 8)%. The best and more convenient model for material equivalent chest wall thickness is a linear function of the body mass index. Depending on the energy, the standard errors of estimate for this model range between 3.2–3.4 mm for PMECWT and between 3.2–3.7 mm for X5050. At 59.5 and 185.7 keV, it was determined, to an excellent approximation, that the fat fraction and consideration of an equivalent material are unnecessary, contrary to the case at 17 keV.

*Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire, IRSN/PRP-HOM/SDI/LEDI 92262 Fontenay-aux-Roses Cedex, France; †AREVA NC, Etablissement de la Hague, Laboratoire de Biologie Médicale, 50444 Beaumont-Hague Cedex, France; ‡Service d’Imagerie Pédiatrique, CHU Bicêtre, AP-HP, Paris, France.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

For correspondence contact: David Broggio, Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire, IRSN/PRP-HOM/SDI/LEDI 92262 Fontenay-aux-Roses Cedex, France, or email at

(Manuscript accepted 10 June 2013)

© 2014 by the Health Physics Society