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A Beginners Guide To ...


... reading Addenbrooke's imaging CD-ROMs using Linux.

I'm posting this here mainly so that it will be picked up by Google. I suspect it may work for other hospitals too. Under the relevant legislation you have the right to get access to your medical records including your MRI scans. These do have a particular fascination, especially is they're scans of your brain and, if you jump through the right hoops and fill in the form your hospital will post you a CD-ROM with them on.

But this is where the trouble starts. For a start if you're using Windows (I did try) it doesn't like it if you're using any browser later than IE6 (yes, really). But if you're using OS X or Linux you're on your own. So here's how to get to the images from Linux.

  1. Mount the CD-ROM. Let's assume the mount point is /mnt/cdrom
  2. Create an empty directory, go into it, and then extract the data into it using:

      7za x /mnt/cdrom/encrypted.7z

    (7za is part of the package p7zip-full package in Ubuntu). You will need the password provided by the hospital.

  3. Then open aeskulap (again available as a package in Ubuntu) and use "File|DicomDir" to select the file DICOMDIR from within the data you've extracted. Finally click on the directory name under the "Server" heading and the images will be displayed.

Now you're in business and you can start looking at the images you've got. To show you an example of what it can do I've produced this little video which is a screen grab of aeskulap in action.

Horizontal slices through my brain top to bottom, watch out for the eyes!

Written 05/05/11

Previous comments about this article:

On 08/05/11 at 3:07pm Graham Denison wrote:

The eyes frame makes me think of the film Mar's Attacks.

The last frame looks like a rabbit coming out of the front of your face (I realise it's your nose and sinuses)

...and I'm sure Jesus was in one frame .... phone the pope :)

On 08/12/11 at 9:28am Richard Fusniak wrote:

Whats the procedure for viewing if you have a Mac?

On 08/12/11 at 9:32am Paul wrote:

I don't know. I don't have a Mac. If you do perhaps you should do what I did: get a CD from Addies' and then work out how to display the images and post a Beginners Guide somewhere ...

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