Influences of parameter uncertainties within the ICRP 66 respiratory tract model: Particle deposition

W. E. Bolch, E. B. Farfán, C. Huh, T. E. Huston, W. E. Bolch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Risk assessment associated with the inhalation of radioactive aerosols requires as an initial step the determination of particle deposition within the various anatomic regions of the respiratory tract. The model outlined in ICRP Publication 66 represents to date one of the most complete overall descriptions of not only particle deposition, but of particle clearance and local radiation dosimetry of lung tissues. In this study, a systematic review of the deposition component within the ICRP 66 respiratory tract model was conducted in which probability density functions were assigned to all input parameters. These distributions were subsequently incorporated within a computer code LUDUC (LUng Dose Uncertainty Code) in which Latin hypercube sampling techniques are used to generate multiple (e.g., 1000) sets of input vectors (i.e., trials) for all of the model parameters needed to assess particle deposition within the extrathoracic (anterior and posterior), bronchial, bronchiolar, and alveolar-interstitial regions of the ICRP 66 respiratory tract model. Particle deposition values for the various trial simulations were shown to be well described by lognormal probability distributions. Geometric mean deposition fractions from LUDUC were found to be within approximately ± 10% of the single-value estimates from the LUDEP computer code for each anatomic region and for particle diameters ranging from 0.001 to 50 μm. In all regions of the respiratory tract, LUDUC simulations for an adult male at light exertion show that uncertainties in particle deposition fractions are distributed only over a range of about a factor of ∼2-4 for particle sizes between 0.005 to 0.2 μm. Below 0.005 μm, uncertainties increase only for deposition within the alveolar region. At particle sizes exceeding 1 μm, uncertainties in the deposition fraction within the extrathoracic regions are relatively small, but approach a factor of 20 for deposition in the bronchial region. Deposition fractions for particles above 1 μm become very uncertain within the deeper regions of the lungs (bronchiolar and alveolar-interstitial).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-394
Number of pages17
JournalHealth physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Dosimetry
  • Human
  • Inhalation
  • Internal
  • Lungs
  • Respiratory system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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