Indian Journal of Radiology Indian Journal of Radiology  

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COMPUTERS IN RADIOLOGY Table of Contents   
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4-13
Managing DICOM images: Tips and tricks for the radiologist


Department of Radiology, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, Minister Road, Hyderabad, India

Correspondence Address:
Dandu Ravi Varma
Department of Radiology, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, Minister Road, Hyderabad
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-3026.95396

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All modalities in radiology practice have become digital, and therefore deal with DICOM images. Image files that are compliant with part 10 of the DICOM standard are generally referred to as "DICOM format files" or simply "DICOM files" and are represented as ".dcm." DICOM differs from other image formats in that it groups information into data sets. A DICOM file consists of a header and image data sets packed into a single file. The information within the header is organized as a constant and standardized series of tags. By extracting data from these tags one can access important information regarding the patient demographics, study parameters, etc. In the interest of patient confidentiality, all information that can be used to identify the patient should be removed before DICOM images are transmitted over a network for educational or other purposes. In addition to the DICOM format, the radiologist routinely encounters images of several file formats such as JPEG, TIFF, GIF, and PNG. Each format has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, which must be taken into consideration when images are archived, used in teaching files, or submitted for publication. Knowledge about these formats and their attributes, such as image resolution, image compression, and image metadata, helps the radiologist in optimizing the archival, organization, and display of images. This article aims to increase the awareness among radiologists regarding DICOM and other image file formats encountered in clinical practice. It also suggests several tips and tricks that can be used by the radiologist so that the digital potential of these images can be fully utilized for maximization of workflow in the radiology practice.


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