XCAT/DRASIM: A realistic CT/human-model simulation package

George S.K. Fung, Karl Stierstorfer, W. Paul Segars, Katsuyuki Taguchi, Thomas G. Flohr, Benjamin M.W. Tsui

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

12 Scopus citations


The aim of this research is to develop a complete CT/human-model simulation package by integrating the 4D eXtended CArdiac-Torso (XCAT) phantom, a computer generated NURBS surface based phantom that provides a realistic model of human anatomy and respiratory and cardiac motions, and the DRASIM (Siemens Healthcare) CT-data simulation program. Unlike other CT simulation tools which are based on simple mathematical primitives or voxelized phantoms, this new simulation package has the advantages of utilizing a realistic model of human anatomy and physiological motions without voxelization and with accurate modeling of the characteristics of clinical Siemens CT systems. First, we incorporated the 4D XCAT anatomy and motion models into DRASIM by implementing a new library which consists of functions to read-in the NURBS surfaces of anatomical objects and their overlapping order and material properties in the XCAT phantom. Second, we incorporated an efficient ray-tracing algorithm for line integral calculation in DRASIM by computing the intersection points of the rays cast from the x-ray source to the detector elements through the NURBS surfaces of the multiple XCAT anatomical objects along the ray paths. Third, we evaluated the integrated simulation package by performing a number of sample simulations of multiple x-ray projections from different views followed by image reconstruction. The initial simulation results were found to be promising by qualitative evaluation. In conclusion, we have developed a unique CT/human-model simulation package which has great potential as a tool in the design and optimization of CT scanners, and the development of scanning protocols and image reconstruction methods for improving CT image quality and reducing radiation dose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2011
Subtitle of host publicationPhysics of Medical Imaging
StatePublished - May 13 2011
EventMedical Imaging 2011: Physics of Medical Imaging - Lake Buena Vista, FL, United States
Duration: Feb 13 2011Feb 17 2011

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2011: Physics of Medical Imaging
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLake Buena Vista, FL


  • CT simulation
  • XCAT
  • ray-tracing algorithm
  • realistic phantom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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