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J Pathol Inform. 2019 Apr 3;10:12. doi: 10.4103/jpi.jpi_93_18. eCollection 2019.

Dual-Personality DICOM-TIFF for Whole Slide Images: A Migration Technique for Legacy Software.

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1
Pixelmed Publishing, LLC, Bangor, Pennsylvania, USA.

Abstract

Despite recently organized Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) testing and demonstration events involving numerous participating vendors, it is still the case that scanner manufacturers, software developers, and users continue to depend on proprietary file formats rather than adopting the standard DICOM whole slide microscopic image object. Many proprietary formats are Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) based, and existing applications and libraries can read tiled TIFF files. The sluggish adoption of DICOM for whole slide image encoding can be temporarily mitigated by the use of dual-personality DICOM-TIFF files. These are compatible with the installed base of TIFF-based software, as well as newer DICOM-based software. The DICOM file format was deliberately designed to support this dual-personality capability for such transitional situations, although it is rarely used. Furthermore, existing TIFF files can be converted into dual-personality DICOM-TIFF without changing the pixel data. This paper demonstrates the feasibility of extending the dual-personality concept to multiframe-tiled pyramidal whole slide images and explores the issues encountered. Open source code and sample converted images are provided for testing.

KEYWORDS:

Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine; Tagged Image File Format; whole slide imaging

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