Currently, there are sophisticated applications that make it possible to visualize medical images and even to manipulate them. These software applications are of great interest, both from a teaching and a radiological perspective. In addition, some of these applications are known as Free Open Source Software because they are free and the source code is freely available, and therefore it can be easily obtained even on personal computers. Two examples of free open source software are Osirix Lite® and 3D Slicer®. However, this last group of free applications have limitations in its use. For the radiological field, manipulating and post-processing images is increasingly important. Consequently, sophisticated computing tools that combine software and hardware to process medical images are needed. In radiology, graphic workstations allow their users to process, review, analyse, communicate and exchange multidimensional digital images acquired with different image-capturing radiological devices. These radiological devices are basically CT (Computerised Tomography), MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), PET (Positron Emission Tomography), etc. Nevertheless, the programs included in these workstations have a high cost which always depends on the software provider and is always subject to its norms and requirements. With this study, we aim to present the advantages and disadvantages of these radiological image visualization systems in the advanced management of radiological studies. We will compare the features of the VITREA2® and AW VolumeShare 5® radiology workstation with free open source software applications like OsiriX® and 3D Slicer®, with examples from specific studies.
Keywords: 3D slicer ®; AW VolumeShare 5®; Free open source software; Imaging diagnosis; Osirix lite ®; Vitrea2 ®; Workstation.