A high-resolution pediatric female whole-body numerical model with comparison to a male model

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Article, Peer-reviewed

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Objective. Numerical models are central in designing and testing novel medical devices and in studying how different anatomical changes may affect physiology. Despite the numerous adult models available, there are only a few whole-body pediatric numerical models with significant limitations. In addition, there is a limited representation of both male and female biological sexes in the available pediatric models despite the fact that sex significantly affects body development, especially in a highly dynamic population. As a result, we developed Athena, a realistic female whole-body pediatric numerical model with high-resolution and anatomical detail.Approach. We segmented different body tissues through Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT) images of a healthy 3.5 year-old female child using 3D Slicer. We validated the high anatomical accuracy segmentation through two experienced sub-specialty-certified neuro-radiologists and the inter and intra-operator variability of the segmentation results comparing sex differences in organ metrics with physiologic values. Finally, we compared Athena with Martin, a similar male model, showing differences in anatomy, organ metrics, and MRI dosimetric exposure.Main results. We segmented 267 tissue compartments, which included 50 brain tissue labels. The tissue metrics of Athena displayed no deviation from the literature value of healthy children. We show the variability of brain metrics in the male and female models. Finally, we offer an example of computing Specific Absorption Rate and Joule heating in a toddler/preschooler at 7 T MRI.Significance. This study introduces a female realistic high-resolution numerical model using MRI and CT scans of a 3.5 year-old female child, the use of which includes but is not limited to radiofrequency safety studies for medical devices (e.g. an implantable medical device safety in MRI), neurostimulation studies, and radiation dosimetry studies. This model will be open source and available on the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging website.

Keywords: 7 Tesla MRI; EM simulation; MRI safety; SAR; Sim4Life; gender; medical device.