A review of US anthropometric reference data (1971-2000) with comparisons to both stylized and tomographic anatomic models

C. Huh, W. E. Bolch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Two classes of anatomic models currently exist for use in both radiation protection and radiation dose reconstruction: stylized mathematical models and tomographic voxel models. The former utilize 3D surface equations to represent internal organ structure and external body shape, while the latter are based on segmented CT or MR images of a single individual. While tomographic models are clearly more anthropomorphic than stylized models, a given model's characterization as being anthropometric is dependent upon the reference human to which the model is compared. In the present study, data on total body mass, standing/sitting heights and body mass index are collected and reviewed for the US population covering the time interval from 1971 to 2000. These same anthropometric parameters are then assembled for the ORNL series of stylized models, the GSF series of tomographic models (Golem, Helga, Donna, etc), the adult male Zubal tomographic model and the UF newborn tomographic model. The stylized ORNL models of the adult male and female are found to be fairly representative of present-day average US males and females, respectively, in terms of both standing and sitting heights for ages between 20 and 60-80 years. While the ORNL adult male model provides a reasonably close match to the total body mass of the average US 21-year-old male (within ∼5%), present-day 40-year-old males have an average total body mass that is ∼16% higher. For radiation protection purposes, the use of the larger 73.7 kg adult ORNL stylized hermaphrodite model provides a much closer representation of average present-day US females at ages ranging from 20 to 70 years. In terms of the adult tomographic models from the GSF series, only Donna (40-year-old F) closely matches her age-matched US counterpart in terms of average body mass. Regarding standing heights, the better matches to US age-correlated averages belong to Irene (32-year-old F) for the females and Golem (38-year-old M) for the males. Both Helga (27-year-old F) and Donna, however, provide good matches to average US sitting heights for adult females, while Golem and Otoko (male of unknown age) yield sitting heights that are slightly below US adult male averages. Finally, Helga is seen as the only GSF tomographic female model that yields a body mass index in line with her average US female counterpart at age 26. In terms of dose reconstruction activities, however, all current tomographic voxel models are valuable assets in attempting to cover the broad distribution of individual anthropometric parameters representative of the current US population. It is highly recommended that similar attempts to create a broad library of tomographic models be initiated in the United States and elsewhere to complement and extend the limited number of tomographic models presently available for these efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3411-3429
Number of pages19
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 21 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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