Microdosimetric analysis of 211At in thyroid models for man, rat and mouse

Anders Josefsson, Eva Forssell-Aronsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background The alpha particle emitter 211At is proposed for therapy of metastatic tumour disease. 211At is accumulated in the thyroid gland in a similar way as iodine. Dosimetric models of 211At in the thyroid are needed for radiation protection assessments for 1) patients receiving 211Atlabelled pharmaceuticals where 211At may be released in vivo and 2) personnel working with 211At. Before clinical trials, preclinical studies are usually made in mice and rats. The aims of this study were to develop thyroid models for mouse, rat and man, and to compare microdosimetric properties between the models. Methods A thyroid follicle model was constructed: a single layer of 6 to 10-μm thick follicle cells with centrally positioned 4 to 8 μm (diameter) spherical nuclei surrounded a 10 to 500 μm (diameter) spherical follicle lumen. Species-specific models were defined for mouse, rat and man. The source compartments for 211At were the follicle lumen, follicle cells and follicle cell nuclei. The target was the follicle cell nucleus. Simplified species-specific thyroid models were used to investigate the contribution from surrounding follicles. Monte Carlo simulations were performed using the general purpose radiation transport code MCNPX 2.6.0. Results When 211At was homogeneously distributed within the follicle lumen, the mean specific energies per decay, 〈z〉, to the follicle cell nucleus were 2.0, 1.1 and 0.17 mGy for mouse, rat and man, respectively. Corresponding values for the single-hit mean specific energy per decay, 〈z1〉, were 1.3, 0.61 and 0.37 Gy. Assuming a homogeneous 211At concentration in the follicle lumen, <0.5%, 7%, and 45% of the emitted alpha particles were fully stopped within the follicle lumen for the respective models. Conclusions The results clearly show the influence of the follicle size, alpha particle range and 211At location within the thyroid follicle on the dosimetric parameters. Appropriate thyroid models are required for translation of dosimetric parameters between species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number29
JournalEJNMMI Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012



  • Microdosimetry
  • Monte Carlo
  • Specific energy
  • Thyroid follicle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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