Integrating the OHIF Viewer into XNAT: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects for Quantitative Imaging Studies

Simon J. Doran, Mohammad Al Sa’D, James A. Petts, James Darcy, Kate Alpert, Woonchan Cho, Lorena Escudero Sanchez, Sachidanand Alle, Ahmed El Harouni, Brad Genereaux, Erik Ziegler, Gordon J. Harris, Eric O. Aboagye, Evis Sala, Dow Mu Koh, Dan Marcus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: XNAT is an informatics software platform to support imaging research, particularly in the context of large, multicentre studies of the type that are essential to validate quantitative imaging biomarkers. XNAT provides import, archiving, processing and secure distribution facilities for image and related study data. Until recently, however, modern data visualisation and annotation tools were lacking on the XNAT platform. We describe the background to, and implementation of, an integration of the Open Health Imaging Foundation (OHIF) Viewer into the XNAT environment. We explain the challenges overcome and discuss future prospects for quantitative imaging studies. Materials and methods: The OHIF Viewer adopts an approach based on the DICOM web protocol. To allow operation in an XNAT environment, a data-routing methodology was developed to overcome the mismatch between the DICOM and XNAT information models and a custom viewer panel created to allow navigation within the viewer between different XNAT projects, subjects and imaging sessions. Modifications to the development environment were made to allow developers to test new code more easily against a live XNAT instance. Major new developments focused on the creation and storage of regions-of-interest (ROIs) and included: ROI creation and editing tools for both contour-and mask-based regions; a “smart CT” paintbrush tool; the integration of NVIDIA’s Artificial Intelligence Assisted Annotation (AIAA); the ability to view surface meshes, fractional segmentation maps and image overlays; and a rapid image reader tool aimed at radiologists. We have incorporated the OHIF microscopy extension and, in parallel, introduced support for microscopy session types within XNAT for the first time. Results: Integration of the OHIF Viewer within XNAT has been highly successful and numerous additional and enhanced tools have been created in a programme started in 2017 that is still ongoing. The software has been downloaded more than 3700 times during the course of the development work reported here, demonstrating the impact of the work. Conclusions: The OHIF open-source, zero-footprint web viewer has been incorporated into the XNAT platform and is now used at many institutions worldwide. Further innovations are envisaged in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-512
Number of pages16
JournalTomography (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Image visualisation
  • OHIF
  • Rapid reader
  • Regions-of-interest
  • Web viewer
  • XNAT


Dive into the research topics of 'Integrating the OHIF Viewer into XNAT: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects for Quantitative Imaging Studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this