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XNAT frequently needs to examine and alter the contents of image objects. Uses include:

  1. Remove Protected Health Information (PHI)
  2. Re-identify with experiment-required identifiers
  3. Enable automatic mapping of Image objects into XNAT's Project/Subject/Session data model.
  4. Create custom functions. (e.g. DIAN project functions, send session/visit from XNAT)

Anonymization During Image Upload

All Image upload methods provide the opportunity to apply two separate passes.

  1. Site-wide anonymization. If enabled, all uploads have this anonymization applied.
  2. Project-specific. If enabled, this anonymization is applied when the session moves into the archive. Images going first into the prearchive will not have this anonymization applied until the move is made to the archive.

For a more detailed description, See Image Upload Processing Steps. Image-upload methods that apply anonymization on the client-side, before the images ever arrive at XNAT, also provide both levels of anonymization, using the same scripts as server-side anonymization.  Server-side application of anonymization is suppressed for uploads with client-side anonymization.

Anonymization During Metadata Edits

XNAT scans DICOM objects for certain elements that are used to map the objects to specific projects, subjects, and sessions (See How XNAT Scans DICOM to Map to Project/Subject/Session). Thus, there is an expectation that these elements within the objects match the data XNAT uses for project ID, subject label, and session label.  When this data is edited, XNAT reruns project-specific anonymization on relevant DICOM objects with the intention of keeping these elements in sync. The following edits will invoke anonymization.

  1. Changing a subject's label.
  2. Changing a session's label.
  3. Moving a session to another project.
  4. Assigning a session to another subject.



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