Application of the 4-D XCAT Phantoms in Biomedical Imaging and beyond

W. Paul Segars, B. M.W. Tsui, Jing Cai, Fang Fang Yin, George S.K. Fung, Ehsan Samei

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


The four-dimensional (4-D) eXtended CArdiac-Torso (XCAT) series of phantoms was developed to provide accurate computerized models of the human anatomy and physiology. The XCAT series encompasses a vast population of phantoms of varying ages from newborn to adult, each including parameterized models for the cardiac and respiratory motions. With great flexibility in the XCAT's design, any number of body sizes, different anatomies, cardiac or respiratory motions or patterns, patient positions and orientations, and spatial resolutions can be simulated. As such, the XCAT phantoms are gaining a wide use in biomedical imaging research. There they can provide a virtual patient base from which to quantitatively evaluate and improve imaging instrumentation, data acquisition, techniques, and image reconstruction and processing methods which can lead to improved image quality and more accurate clinical diagnoses. The phantoms have also found great use in radiation dosimetry, radiation therapy, medical device design, and even the security and defense industry. This review paper highlights some specific areas in which the XCAT phantoms have found use within biomedical imaging and other fields. From these examples, we illustrate the increasingly important role that computerized phantoms and computer simulation are playing in the research community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)680-692
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number3
Early online date10 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomedical imaging phantoms
  • CT
  • dosimetry
  • image analysis
  • image reconstruction
  • medical diagnostic imaging
  • medical simulation
  • PET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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