DICOM image format

DICOM standard defines image and other data sets, and also data transport protocols and services. DICOM standard is established by American College of Radiology (ACR) and National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). Part 10 of the standard describes the file format for the distribution of images. At present, DICOM 3.0 is widely used by the PET scanner manufacturers.

In Turku PET Centre, PET/CT and PET/MR scanners, and β-CUBE, produce images in DICOM format. DICOM images are stored in PETPACS.

Carimas can process many DICOM format images. Notice that DICOM files from different scanner manufacturers, even from different scanner generations, can be very different. Therefore it is common that a certain DICOM image cannot be (correctly) processed by the software, before support for the specific format is added.

DICOM images can also be converted to ECAT 7, NIfTI, or Analyze 7.5 format, if necessary, with .NET program ImageConverter, which can be found in P:\bin\windows\, or downloaded from here. To start the program, double-click the *.exe file, or select “Run” in Windows “Start” menu and write imageconverter_1_1_5 (or later version) in the “Open” field and click “Ok”. In ImageConverter GUI do the following steps for each PET study:

  1. click “Open DICOM folder” icon in the upper panel
  2. find and select the PET DICOM folder that you uncompressed in previous step
  3. in “Output options” tab: select Ecat7 as the Output image format
  4. in “Output options” tab: uncheck “Convert files in place” check box
  5. in “Output options” tab: change Output folder to your working folder, for example C:\work\ (make sure there is no ‘*’ in the end of folder name)
  6. in “Output options” tab: change “Output filename pattern” to contain study number (for example ck29) or other name which identifies this PET image from other image files
  7. if you plan to copy data outside hospital or PET Centre, you should go to tab “General options” and check “Anonymize data”; otherwise you do not need to change anything in this tab or in “Dicom options”
  8. Click the big “Convert” button, and wait; there should now be single ECAT 7 file created in the specified folder (for example C:\work\ck29.v).

ImageConverter can also be used in Windows command prompt. Enter command ImageConverter --help to get usage information. File and path names should not contain special characters, including spaces. For example, to convert DICOM image in subfolder kuvat\moin\ into ECAT7 file moin.v, enter command:

ImageConverter kuvat\moin -c=Ecat7 -o=.\moin


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Updated at: 2018-11-10
Created at: 2017-04-11
Written by: Vesa Oikonen