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Proceedings Paper

Approach to DICOM image display handling the full flexibility of the standard's specification
Author(s): Joerg Riesmeier; Marco Eichelberg; Peter F. Jensch
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Paper Abstract

DICOM is widely accepted today as the standard protocol for medical image interchange. DICOM offers very flexible data structures allowing to easily encode a wide variety of modality specific image formats. This flexibility, however, causes problems in image display: most DICOM viewers are limited to the 'most usual' subset of the standard's specification which makes up the vast majority of images but covers only a very small part of DICOM's capabilities. Our approach was to design a toolkit which attempts to overcome the common restrictions of existing DICOM implementations. Apart from completeness, i.e. the support for all image formats defined in DICOM, the main objectives were: efficiency, extensibility and portability. The resulting toolkit is built on a well-designed C++ class hierarchy which makes extensive use of template classes and inline methods for best performance. Two applications based on this toolkit have been developed: a conversion and manipulation tool and a small DICOM viewer. In addition to the freely available DICOM test images distributed by vendors of medical equipment we used artificially created images covering all aspects and options of the DICOM image models for testing. Our implementation demonstrates that it is both possible and practicable to support the entire DICOM image format without sacrificing efficiency. Nevertheless the question remains whether DICOM's present complexity is really necessary. An introduction of useful restrictions would make it much easier for DICOM implementers to support the standard's image format in its entirety and thus increase the software's robustness.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 May 1999
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 3658, Medical Imaging 1999: Image Display, (26 May 1999);
Show Author Affiliations
Joerg Riesmeier, OFFIS eV (Germany)
Marco Eichelberg, OFFIS eV (Germany)
Peter F. Jensch, OFFIS eV (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3658:
Medical Imaging 1999: Image Display
Seong Ki Mun; Yongmin Kim, Editor(s)

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