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Dive into the DICOM world

Find all the information about DICOM, learn DICOM terminology such as “association”, “C-GET”, “MPPS”, “SCM”, and much more.
Read, comprehend, and be prepared to use the DICOM jargon when the occasion calls for it.


DICOM File Meta Information Header

Categories: DICOM Files|Tags: , , |

A header that is added to a DICOM Instance when it is saved to file. The DICOM Meta information header is not part of the DICOM Instance itself. It adds information required for parsing [...]


Categories: DICOM|Tags: , , |

Web Access to DICOM Objects. Part 18 of the DICOM standard details an interface to DICOM Objects using HTTP. WADO enables, for example, retrieving DICOM images as JPEG  using an HTTP GET request. The [...]


Categories: protocols|Tags: , |

Extensible Markup Language. A markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format which is both human-readable and machine-readable. Unlike HTML, XML's set of rules is not chosen, but defined [...]


Categories: IHE|Tags: , |

Acronym for “Cross Enterprise Document Sharing”. XDS is an IHE Integration Profile that specifies a method for sharing document across enterprise boundaries.


Categories: DICOM|Tags: , |

Value Representation. The DICOM Data Type. VR’s are named as two letter codes. E.g. UI is the UID. PN is Person Name.


Categories: Knowledge Center|Tags: |

Acronym for Vendor Neutral Archive. A digital archive for medical documents, including images, that stores documents of multiple standards and formats and provide access through a variety of protocols. Many times VNA is compared [...]


Categories: DICOM|Tags: , |

Value Multiplicity. A DICOM Element may have multiple values. String values are separated by \ while the VM of binary values is determined by dividing the element length in bytes by the size of one [...]


Categories: DICOM|Tags: , , |

Acronym for “Unique  Identifier”. UID’s are widely used in DICOM and are assigned to objects, classes, transfer syntaxes, special services, and specific data elements. NEMA registers DICOM UID’s and every instance of a DICOM application [...]

Transfer Syntax

Categories: DICOM|Tags: , , |

Defines how data elements are serialized in three (3) aspects: (1) Byte order (Little/Big endian) (2) Explicit or Implicit Value Representation and (3) If and what type of compression is used for the image pixel [...]

SCM – Storage Commitment Management

Categories: DICOM|Tags: , |

A DICOM Service that is used to “pass the ownership” on DICOM Instances from one application to another. It confirms that a DICOM Application stores a set of DICOM Instances in a similar way to [...]

SOP Instance UID

Categories: DICOM|Tags: , , |

Uniquely identifies one DICOM Instance. Every DICOM Instance has a UID.


Categories: protocols|Tags: , , |

Simple Object Access Protocol. A protocol for exchanging objects between Web Services SOAP uses XML as message and object format and usually relies on HTTP for transmission.

Service Object Pair (SOP) Class

Categories: DICOM|Tags: , , , |

A pair of an IOD and DIMSE Service that together defines a capability of a DICOM AE. At association phase, AE’s exchange SOP Class UID’s and agree on their capabilities.


Categories: DICOM Networking|Tags: , , |

Acronym for “Service Class User”. Synonym for “Client” in general computing terminology.


Categories: DICOM Networking|Tags: , , |

Acronym for “Service Class Provider”. Synonym for “Server” in general computing terminology.

Presentation Context

Categories: DICOM Networking|Tags: , , , |

A combination of a SOP Class and Transfer Syntax that is agreed upon between two applications during the association negotiation phase. The transfer syntax is used to serialize the commands and data objects of the [...]


Categories: Network|Tags: , , |

A port (door/window) in the computer where communication is made through. One host may have many ports and each networking application works through one of them. The standard port for DICOM applications is 104. [...]

Part 10 File

Categories: DICOM Files|Tags: , , |

AKA DICOM File. Part 10 of the DICOM standard defines how to save DICOM Objects in files. Part 10 files include the DICOM File Meta Information Header. Before part 10, DICOM files did not [...]


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Picture Archive and Communication System. It is commonly accepted that PACS provides its services using the DICOM Network Protocol. PACS is an information technology system that provides services for archiving and restoring medical imaging documents [...]

MWL – Modality Worklist Management

Categories: DICOM|Tags: , |

A DICOM Service that is used for managing “tasks” for Imaging Modalities.

MPPS – Modality Performed Procedure Step

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A DICOM Service that is used to report the status of a procedure. MPPS is used together with MWL. MWL provides the task list and MPPS is used to “checkmark” completed tasks.


Categories: protocols|

Acronyms for “Internet Protocol” and “Transmission Control Protocol”. The first protocols in the computer networking model that is the basis for the internet. DICOM, HL7, and almost all other computer networking standards use TCP/IP.

IP Address

Categories: Network|Tags: , |

A unique address of a computer in the IP network


Categories: DICOM|Tags: , |

Acronym for “Information Object Definition”. The DICOM standard defines objects that are the subject of the standard. For example CT Image or Worklist Item. IOD’s are defined as a set of Data Elements and rules [...]


Categories: Knowledge Center|Tags: , , |

Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise. An international organization that publishes detailed specifications of how standards like DICOM and HL7 should be used to integrate Healthcare IT Systems. Adhering to the IHE integration profiles may reduce ambiguities [...]


Categories: DICOM Q/R Service|Tags: , , |

A DICOM Object that carries a Query in a somewhat  similar to SQL SELECT clause. The Identifier is comprised of matching attributes that carry the “WHERE” attributes and universal attributes that carry the “SELECT” attributes. [...]


Categories: protocols|Tags: , |

Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The protocol that is used for the world wide web (www).


Categories: WWW|Tags: , |

Hypertext Markup Language. The standard language used for creating web pages. HTML is written in the form of HTML elements consisting of tags enclosed in angle brackets (like)


Categories: HL7|Tags: , |

A message exchange standard used for Healthcare IT integration. HL7 is used for transactions like patient registration, service orders and reports. HL7 Messages are typically encoded using pipe | separator between fields. HL7 version 2 [...]


Categories: DICOM Files|Tags: , |

DICOM File: A computer file on a digital storage device that is structured according to the specification of the DICOM Standard. A DICOM file stores the information of one DICOM Instance (or Object).


Categories: DICOM Networking|Tags: , , |

DICOM Message Exchange. The DICOM network commands are called DIMSE Commands.


Categories: DICOM|Tags: , |

A number that identifies a specific DICOM Data Element and defines the data element name, content and data type. The tag is a long number (4 bytes) comprised of two short numbers (2 bytes each), [...]

DICOM Services

Categories: DICOM|Tags: , , , |

The services that the DICOM standard defines. Applications that conform to the DICOM standard implements DICOM services, either as SCU or as SCP.

DICOM Object

Categories: DICOM|Tags: , |

A group of DICOM Data Elements that define some real life object e.g. Image. AKA DICOM Instance. Objects may be stored in files or transferred via network.

DICOM Header

Categories: DICOM Files|Tags: , , |

Usually refers to the DICOM elements excluding the image pixel data as people conceive DICOM objects as an image with additional data attributes. Actually the image pixel data is a data element like any other. [...]

DICOM Data Element

Categories: DICOM|Tags: , |

A piece of information that is part of a larger DICOM Object such as patient name or study date. AKA “DICOM Attribute”. Every DICOM Data Elements is identified by a DICOM Tag that defines the [...]


Categories: DICOM|Tags: , |

Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine. DICOM is a standard that specify image and document format, encoding, network protocol, and data model for use by medical imaging applications.


Categories: Knowledge Center|Tags: , |

Clinical Document Architecture. CDA, is part of HL7 Version 3 and is a document markup standard that specifies the structure and semantics of clinical documents for the purpose of exchange between healthcare providers and patients. [...]


Categories: DICOM Networking|Tags: , , , , |

A DIMSE Command that sends a DICOM Object (e.g. Image) from one application (Storage SCU) to another (Storage SCP). The C-STORE command is used in the “Storage Service”.


Categories: DICOM Networking|Tags: , , , |

A DIMSE Command that does the following: “Application A asks application B to send DICOM Instances stored in Application B to Application C”. Application C may or may not be application A itself. When Application B [...]


Categories: DICOM Networking|Tags: , , , |

An obsolete DIMSE Command for retrieving DICOM Instances using matching criteria. C-GET is similar to C-MOVE but instead of starting a new association, the instances are sent over the same connection as responses.


Categories: DICOM Networking|

A DIMSE Command that performs a “Query” similar to SQL “SELECT” statement. C-FIND is part of the Q/R Service together with C-MOVE and C-GET. C-FIND is also used in the MWL Service.


Categories: DICOM Networking|Tags: , , , |

A DIMSE Command that is used for the verification service that verifies communication between two DICOM Applications. AKA “DICOM ping”.

Application Entity (AE) Title

Categories: DICOM Networking|Tags: , , , |

A unique name of a node in the DICOM network Every DICOM AE has a table where the other AE’s are configured with their host name or IP address and the port they are listening [...]


Categories: Knowledge Center|Tags: |

A network session between two DICOM Application. An association is a two phases process. The first phase is the negotiation where the context of the session is negotiated and the second phase is the actual [...]

Abstract Syntax

Categories: DICOM Networking|Tags: , , |

Abstract Syntax A Synonym for SOP Class in the context of Association Negotiation.

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