Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Strahlenbiologie und Medizinische Physik
Société Suisse de Radiobiologie et de Physique Médicale
Società Svizzera di Radiobiologia e di Fisica Medica
Swiss Society of Radiobiology and Medical Physics

Educational Course on DICOM-RT
Neuchâtel: 13 June 2003

Lecture notes

Further information and links


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DICOM, the "Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine" protocol, 
has now been widely adopted by the manufacturers as the standard for 
providing interconnectivity between the various equipment used in 
Radiology and Radiotherapy. However, since DICOM departs 
somewhat from standard network protocols based on WEB technology, it 
is rarely mastered by IT people from the hospitals. This leaves the 
problems of interoperability to the responsibility of the medical physicists 
in charge of the equipment. The aim of the course was to provide 
the medical physicist with the necessary qualifications for understanding 
the DICOM protocol in some detail, especially for its use in Radiotherapy. 

Further information and links.

Lecture notes
Selected key statements have been added to the lecture titles by an attending lay person.
Full presentations (converted to pdf) may be downloaded by clicking on the titles.
The copyright remains with the authors!

Mrs L. Perret
Computer Science Department,
IIUN, University of Neuchâtel
Introduction to networking (250 kB)
  • Network architecture consists of a stack of layers:
    - host to network (physical transfer, e.g. Ethernet);
    - internet layer (packet routing, using IP);
    - transport layer (rearranging packets, error checking, using TCP);
    - application layer (ftp, http, smtp, ...).
Ch. Parisot
GE Medical Systems, France
The basic structure of DICOM (1'336 kB)
  • DICOM is an application layer (the "http" for medical images).
  • Define the required workflow as first step - then consider how to solve this with DICOM.
  • Don't ask "Do you support DICOM?" - but "Which service class do you support?".
    - Storage service class (send an image);
    - Query service class (ask whether images exist);
    - Retrieve service class (ask for images to be sent).
    Check conformance statements for matching SC-User vs. SC-Provider.
M. Neumann
Nucletron B.V., Veenendaal,
The Netherlands
The DICOM extensions for radiotherapy (1'954 kB)
  • DICOM-RT is not a separate standard - it is an extension, defining 7 new objects:
    - RT image
    - RT dose
    - RT structure set
    - RT plan
    - RT treatment record (bem session, brachy session, summary).
  • Beams are defined with a system of "control points".
J.-F. Germond
Hospital of
La Chaux-de-Fonds
The clinical physics aspects behind DICOM-RT (5'722 kB)
  • What should the physicist know about DICOM-RT?
    - Terminology (learn it);
    - Clinic work flow (describe it);
    - Interpretation of attributes (map it).
H. Deutschmann
LKS Salzburg, Austria
Real time process validation in clinical practice and the role of DICOM-RT
(Due to the dynamic sequences in this presentation conversion to pdf was not possible)
  • It is not difficult to define meaningful functionalities which cannot be handled with the present DICOM-RT version - so the standard needs further development.
Ch. Parisot
GE Medical Systems, France
General perspectives of DICOM (4'981 kB)
  • Handle workflow (already works for diagnostic radiology):
    - Worklist for device;
    - Storage commitment;
    - Modality performed procedure step.
  • Future developments need to be user-driven and vendor-supported.
M. Neumann
Nucletron B.V., Veenendaal,
The Netherlands 
Radiotherapy perspectives of DICOM (1'013 kB)
  • Extended query/retrieve (for RT objects).
  • Handle workflow (in DICOM-RT).
  • Integration with RT Information Systems.
  • Incorporate new functionalities (e.g. fluence maps, optimization parameters).

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This page is maintained by Wolf W. Seelentag, last update 14 September 2011.
© remains with the authors of the presentations.
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