When I try to Import individual DICOM (.dcm) files from http://www.osirix-viewer.com/datasets/ datasets

I can see the Elements listed in example files, ie:

{"BitDepth", "ColorMap", "ColorSpace", "Data", "Graphics", \
"GraphicsList", "Image", "ImageList", "ImageSize", "MetaInformation", \

Various metadata elements are imported correctly, but when Import'ing the Image or Graphics element, or simply an entire .dcm file, I get some combination of the following errors:

Import::fmterr: "Cannot import data as DICOM format. "
Import::nodta: "Insufficient data found for DICOM format."

The individual .dcm files themselves are small, less than 100kb each, but that should be enough to contain the actual 512x512 image. Also an assistant managed to open the files in the Osirix app.

In Mathematica, the files' Data element is also imported but displayed as binary gibberish, is this the content? If so, why doesn't Mathematica interpret it?

So, can someone replicate this or know how to display the images? (For example the WRIX dataset on the osirix site is only 5MB)


1 Answer 1


I've worked with a lot of dicom files in the past, and these cannot be read by my old code or my version of Mathematica, v9.0.1. I think the line on the OsiriX website is telling: "These images are best viewed with OsiriX DICOM Viewer". Perhaps they have converted the original dicom format and left the *.dcm file extension, or compressed the data within. The file sizes are not what I'd expect. A 512x512 image with a standard of two bytes per pixel requires at least 524288 bytes. Not even one byte per pixel fits the 100kb file size you mention, suggesting some compression.

  • $\begingroup$ I see, thanks. I'll inquire with OsiriX. $\endgroup$ Aug 20, 2013 at 23:29

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