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DICOM directory (DICOMDIR) viewer

A set of image slices from a CT or MRI scanner are commonly stored in DICOM format. Part of the DICOM format allows a group of files (per patient, per study etc.) to be accessed more easily via what is known as a DICOM Directory. This is a single file - usually named just 'DICOMDIR' - which contains both data about the patient and the scanner parameters used, and also references to the individual image slices which make up the complete scan.

As our medical imaging research is based on producing 3D reconstructions from sets of image slices, we typically access data saved to CD from the hospital scanner in DICOMDIR format. In developing and testing these DICOM routines, we have developed a small but useful utility, which will open and display images in 2D from this DICOM data.

This utility is called DCMView and is available free for any use - commercial or non-commercial - by download from our site.

DCMView is written in Microsoft Visual C++ (VC7) and uses a VC7 port of the OFFIS DCMTK DICOM Toolkit. The application will read a DICOMDIR from CD or disk and will load thumbnail images of all DICOM slices, which may be scrolled through as shown in the sample screenshot above.

Double-clicking a thumbnail image will produce a detail display of that slice, as shown on the left.

From this detailed display, the window level and width may be adjusted by entering values directly or by selecting from a small range of preset values:

  • Abdomen / pelvis
  • Bone
  • Brain
  • Chest
  • Head
  • Neck
  • Lung

The image may also be zoomed by right-click and drag or moved by left-click and drag.

Additional options allow the image to be copied to the clipboard or saved to a bitmap. It is also possible to scroll backward and forward through the slices from this view.

DCMView is supplied free of charge on the understanding that the images it produces are not guaranteed to be free from defects or imaging artifacts, and should not be relied upon for the purpose of clinical diagnosis or any other activity in which the quality and reliability of the displayed image play an important part. By downloading and/or using this software, you are deemed to have read and understood these conditions.

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