Three-dimensional computer generated breast phantom based on empirical data

Christina M. Li, W. Paul Segars, Joseph Y. Lo, Alexander I. Veress, John M Boone, James T. Dobbins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


The goal of this work is to create a detailed three-dimensional (3D) digital breast phantom based on empirical data and to incorporate it into the four-dimensional (4D) NCAT phantom, a computerized model of the human anatomy widely used in imaging research. Twenty sets of high-resolution breast CT data were used to create anatomically diverse models. The datasets were segmented using techniques developed in our laboratory and the breast structures will be defined using a combination of non-uniform rational b-splines (NURBS) and subdivision surfaces (SD). Imaging data from various modalities (x-ray and nuclear medicine) were simulated to demonstrate the utility of the new breast phantoms. As a proof of concept, a simple compression technique was used to deform the breast models while maintaining a constant volume to simulate modalities (mammography and tomosynthesis) that involve compression. Initial studies using one CT dataset indicate that the simulated breast phantom is capable of providing a realistic and flexible representation of breast tissue and can be used with different acquisition methods to test varying imaging parameters such as dose, resolution, and patient motion. The final model will have a more accurate depiction of the internal breast structures and will be scaleable in terms of size and density. Also, more realistic finite-element techniques will be used to simulate compression. With the ability to simulate realistic, predictive patient imaging data, we believe the phantom will provide a vital tool to investigate current and emerging breast imaging methods and techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
StatePublished - 2008
EventMedical Imaging 2008 - Physics of Medical Imaging - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 18 2008Feb 21 2008


OtherMedical Imaging 2008 - Physics of Medical Imaging
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Breast imaging
  • Computed tomography
  • Phantoms
  • Simulation
  • Tomosynthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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