Development of a Dynamic Model for the Lung Lobes and Airway Tree in the NCAT Phantom

James M. Garrity, W. Paul Segars, Steven Knisley, Benjamin M.W. Tsui

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The 4D NCAT phantom was developed to realistically model human anatomy based on the Visible Human data and cardiac and respiratory motions based on 4D tagged MRI and respiratory-gated CT data from normal human subjects. Currently, the 4D NCAT phantom does not include the airway tree or its motion within the lungs. Also, each lung is defined with a single surface; the individual lobes are not distinguished. We further the development of the phantom by creating dynamic models for the individual lung lobes and for the airway tree in each lobe. NURBS surfaces for the lobes and an initial airway tree model (∼4 generations) were created through manual segmentation of the Visible Human data. A mathematical algorithm with physiological constraints will be used to extend the original airway model to fill each lobe. For each parent airway branch inside a lobe, the algorithm extends the airway tree by creating two daughter branches modeled with cylindrical tubes. Parameters for the cylindrical tubes such as diameter, length, and angle are constrained based on flow parameters and available lung space. The bifurcating branches are propagated within a lung lobe until it is filled. Once each lobe is filled, the cylindrical tubes are converted into NURBS surfaces and blended with the original airway tree obtained through segmentation. The respiratory model previously developed using the respiratorygated CT data is then applied to the surfaces of the lobes and airway tree ω create the new 4D respiratory model. This improved model will provide a useful tool in future studies researching the effects of respiratory motion on lung tumor imaging. It is also an important step in advancing the 4D NCAT for applications in more high-resolution imaging modalities such as x-ray CT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002
Event2002 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record - Norfolk, VA, United States
Duration: Nov 10 2002Nov 16 2002


Other2002 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record
CountryUnited States
CityNorfolk, VA


  • Airway tree
  • Phantom
  • Respiratory motion
  • Segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Garrity, J. M., Segars, W. P., Knisley, S., & Tsui, B. M. W. (2002). Development of a Dynamic Model for the Lung Lobes and Airway Tree in the NCAT Phantom. 1858-1862. Paper presented at 2002 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record, Norfolk, VA, United States.