Methodology for generating a 3D computerized breast phantom from empirical data

Christina M. Li, W. Paul Segars, Georgia D. Tourassi, John M Boone, James T. Dobbins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


The initial process for creating a flexible three-dimensional computer-generated breast phantom based on empirical data is described. Dedicated breast computed-tomography data were processed to suppress noise and scatter artifacts in the reconstructed image set. An automated algorithm was developed to classify the breast into its primary components. A preliminary phantom defined using subdivision surfaces was generated from the segmented data. To demonstrate potential applications of the phantom, simulated mammographic image data were acquired of the phantom using a simplistic compression model and an analytic projection algorithm directly on the surface model. The simulated image was generated using a model for a polyenergetic cone-beam projection of the compressed phantom. The methods used to create the breast phantom generate resulting images that have a high level of tissue structure detail available and appear similar to actual mammograms. Fractal dimension measurements of simulated images of the phantom are comparatively similar to measurements from images of real human subjects. A realistic and geometrically defined breast phantom that can accurately simulate imaging data may have many applications in breast imaging research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3122-3131
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2009


  • Breast imaging
  • Mammography
  • Modeling
  • Phantom
  • Segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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