Digital X-ray Storage SOP Classes

A new set of Storage SOP Classes has been defined for supporting digital detector technology, such as Computerized Radiography (CR) and Digital Radiography (DR) equipments. This new Digital X-Ray extension (DX Storage SOP Class) does not only support general x-ray modalities, but also supports digital intra-oral, panoramic x-ray and mammography applications. It can even be used for digitized film.

These new SOP Classes provide a capability for exchanging raw or for-processing data, as well as for-presentation information. There are two versions of each type, to allow an institution to look at raw, un-corrected data for QA purposes, or to apply their own image processing algorithms. Computer Aided Diagnosis (CAD) applications need the unprocessed, raw data as well. Therefore, if a CAD system, such as typically used for mammography application, is part of the system, the modality would need to send the for-processing data to this device. The for-presentation images would typically be sent to the PACS for archiving and viewing.

Another important aspect of the DX Storage SOP Classes is that they facilitate the proper hanging protocols. A hanging protocol defines how a radiologist prefers to look at an image set, and the term comes from how a technologist used to hang the films on an alternator.

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