The DICOM review stations: are they truly different?

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Digital acquisition systems are widely used nowadays. The digitization of the cath lab environment is now directed towards the change in the exchange media from an analog (i.e. cinefilm)) to a digital (i.e. CD-R)) medium. An important consequence of this development is the need for another type of review system. This article focuses on the replacement of the cineprojector by a digital equivalent: the DICOM review station. Since the technologies differ fundamentally, the DICOM review station has very little in common with its analog predecessor. This article explains the basics of DICOM review stations. Different approaches, both in hardware and in software, are possible, each showing their advantages and drawbacks. The impact of choices made by the industry will be illustrated by a number of commercially available DICOM review stations. Further, the article discusses the topics of diagnostic image quality and performance. In our opinion, these are the major topics when it comes to an objective comparison of the capabilities of DICOM review stations. The relation of these subjects with design choices in terms of hardware and software are discussed.

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