DICOM demystified: a review of digital file formats and their use in radiological practice

Clin Radiol. 2005 Nov;60(11):1133-40. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2005.07.003.


Digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM) is the standard image file format used by radiological hardware devices. This article will provide an overview of DICOM and attempt to demystify the bewildering number of image formats that are commonly encountered. The characteristics and usefulness of different image file types will be explored and a variety of freely available web-based resources to aid viewing and manipulation of digital images will be reviewed. How best to harness DICOM technology before the introduction of picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) will also be described.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Radiology Information Systems*
  • Software
  • Teaching Materials
  • Technology, Radiologic / methods