View X-ray images and MRI images from a patient CD on a Mac or Windows PC

While you used to wander from doctor to doctor with large envelopes full of prints, the hospital usually burns the recordings onto a CD on site and gives them to the patient (photos: Sir Apfelot).

Today is about a topic that came up in the family because of an illness: How can I look at the X-rays on the Mac that I get on a patient CD at the hospital? The current case concerned x-rays of the hands that were burned on CD by the technician in the hospital.

While you used to wander from doctor to doctor with large envelopes full of prints, the hospital usually burns the recordings onto a CD on site and gives them to the patient (photos: Sir Apfelot).

While you used to wander from doctor to doctor with large envelopes full of prints, the hospital usually burns the recordings onto a CD on site and gives them to the patient (photos: Sir Apfelot).

Supplied software as the first solution

With many CDs, in addition to the actual recordings, which in our case are in the "DICOM" folder, there are also programs on the CD that allow viewing the corresponding MRI or X-ray recordings.

I read the data on the Mac with the Apple SuperDrive, which was possible without any problems. I dragged the "DICOM" folder directly onto the Mac. So that the recordings are already saved locally.

There is a "Dicom" folder on the CD. This contains the various recordings in sub-folders "SERIES0", "SERIES1" etc. The files themselves are only called "IMO" and have no file extension.

There is a "Dicom" folder on the CD. This contains the various recordings in sub-folders "SERIES0", "SERIES1" etc. The files themselves are only called "IM0" and have no file extension.

HTML Viewer only shows black images

Several options are provided on the CD for viewing the medical recordings. One way is through the "index.html" file, which you open in the browser of your choice. In my case you could find the corresponding recordings in the "Series" menu, but the display failed and only showed two black areas.

OsiriX Lite for Mac and PC

One solution that worked much better was the DICOM Viewer "OsiriX Lite", which can be found as free software on the OsiriX homepage:

https://www.osirix-viewer.com/osirix/osirix-md/download-osirix-lite/

There you have to enter your personal data and an email address to which the download link for the software will be sent, but otherwise the display of the recordings is much more convenient than I thought.

When installing OsiriX Lite, the Mac expects the entry of the admin password.

When installing OsiriX Lite, the Mac expects the entry of the admin password.

You can zoom in and out and also change the display by changing brightness, contrast and the like. The software is available as a Windows version as well as a Mac app.

The DICOM Viewer Osirix Lite is the free version of the OsiriX software that can be used for patients. Viewing the MRI or X-ray images is no problem - both on a Mac and on a Windows PC.

The DICOM Viewer Osirix Lite is the free version of the OsiriX software that can be used for patients. Viewing the MRI or X-ray images is no problem - both on a Mac and on a Windows PC.

IM0 files on the Mac

An interesting thing that struck me on the Mac: If you have installed OsiriX Lite, thumbnails are created in the Finder for the individual recordings. The IM0 files are not assigned to OsiriX because the files do not have a file extension. If you double-click on the files, the Mac wants to open them with the terminal, which of course is nonsense.

Once the IM0 files have been opened, the Finder assigns them a thumbnail.

Once the IM0 files have been opened, the Finder assigns them a thumbnail.

Always open dcm files with Osirix DICOM Viewer

If you want the files to be opened with the OsiriX Lite program in the future, you have to give them the file extension "dcm". This abbreviation stands for "DICOM Medical Image". When I changed this on my Mac, the Mac wanted to open the file with Toast Titatium 11 - which of course was again the wrong idea.

For this reason, I first had to use the information window of the file to specify that dcm files should always be opened with the Osirix Lite DICOM viewer in the future. To do this, click on the "Change all" button in the information window after selecting the program and the link between the dcm file extension and Osirix Lite is permanently established.

The information window in the Finder (MAC) can be used to specify that dcm files will always be opened with the OsiriX DICOM Viewer in the future.

The information window in the Finder (MAC) can be used to specify that dcm files will always be opened with the OsiriX DICOM Viewer in the future.

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11 comments

  1. Tobias Knapp says:

    Hallo,
    i am using an iMac. The hint to open the contents of a CD with OsiriX currently no longer works. To do this, you have to buy the full version for $ 699.

    Got an idea for some other free imaging software for the iMac?

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen
    TK

  2. Franziska Bergmann says:

    My uncle went to the X-ray yesterday. He also got a CD to look at the pictures. Thanks for the tip that the programs for reading the image files are also on the data carrier.

  3. Halberstadt says:

    Today I received a CD from my MRT that I would like to view in the MAC OSx.

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Was that a question? Because I actually explained in the article which software you can use on the Mac for this. : D

  4. Joochen says:

    Alternative to Osirix: https://horosproject.org/ (only for Mac) Free of charge, donations possible (it's worth it). Very large range of functions without appearing overloaded.

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Jochen! Thank you for your hint. I didn't know that yet and unfortunately I didn't stumble across it while looking for a viewer. It's a shame actually!

  5. TASTE says:

    Hello, I have an urgent question. I have a DVD with PET-CT results. I have to copy this DVD and send it to another clinic. I want to keep my original DVD with me. I only have a Macintosh at home and pretty old (but good) Toast software for copying DVDs. I copied the DVD without any problems, but I cannot check whether it opens without problems on a PC computer in the clinic. Maybe you have more experience there. Unfortunately, it is very urgent and I cannot send a faulty DVD because it might lose a week. Thanks in advance for any answer

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello, unfortunately I didn't make it any faster. But if you take the good old toast that I know too, then it does a verification after the copy and makes sure that the original and the copy are the same. That probably went through and went without errors. For this reason, the copy is probably okay. LG!

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