X-ray equipment testing using phantoms that mimic the specific human anatomy, morphology, and structure is a very
important step in the research, development, and routine quality assurance for such equipment. Although the NEMA
XR21 phantom exists for cardiac applications, there is no such standard phantom for neuro-, peripheral and cardiovascular
angiographic applications. We have extended the application of the NEMA XR21-2000 phantom to evaluate
neurovascular x-ray imaging systems by structuring it to be
head-equivalent; two aluminum plates shaped to fit into the
NEMA phantom geometry were added to a 15 cm thick section. Also, to enable digital subtraction angiography (DSA)
testing, two replaceable central plates with a hollow slot were made so that various angiographic sections could be
inserted into the phantom. We tested the new modified phantom using a flat panel C-arm unit dedicated for endovascular
image-guided interventions. All NEMA XR21-2000 standard test sections were used in evaluations with the new "headequivalent"
phantom. DSA and DA are able to be tested using two standard removable blocks having simulated arteries
of various thickness and iodine concentrations (AAPM Report 15). The new phantom modifications have the benefits of
enabling use of the standard NEMA phantom for angiography in both neuro- and cardio-vascular applications, with the
convenience of needing only one versatile phantom for multiple applications. Additional benefits compared to using
multiple phantoms are increased portability and lower cost.