As you may already know the CCIR MR scanner has presented some challenges in the last few months. The VIDA’s preferred output format is enhanced DICOM. A format called “interop” (the regular kind of DICOM) can be generated from the enhanced DICOM, but the interop DICOM headers are incomplete at times. Therefore, we are moving to make enhanced DICOM the default data type sent from the VIDA to CNDA. However, we have learned that several investigators cannot use their existing tools with the enhanced DICOM.  We would like to give them some time to switch over.

Here is the takeaway:

  • Any project scanning series on the VIDA that involve timing (BOLD, DTI, ASL) should move immediately to enhanced DICOM. The slice timing information is not in the interop data.
  • Enhanced DICOM only will become the default format sent from the VIDA to the CNDA after Nov. 30, 2018.
  • If studies have older tools that don’t support enhanced DICOM and don’t have series involving slice timing, they may contact the CCIR to “opt in” to interop data.  In this case, they will be sent both enhanced and interop data.

Please keep reading for more information about enhanced DICOM and your study.


  • Does this affect the other MR scanners at the CCIR or Bay 3?
    Not yet. Siemens says there will likely be updates to the Prisma at some point that will cause it to generate enhanced DICOM, but there is no timeline for that. However any new Siemens MR scanners will definitely generate enhanced DICOM natively.

  • Does this affect other modalities than MR?
    It seems not. The new Vision PET-CT scanner that is scheduled to arrive in December does not generate enhanced DICOM.

  • If I opt in to interop, why will you still send me the enhanced data?
    If it is necessary to load your data back to the VIDA for some reason, techs cannot use the interop data to do this.  They must have the enhanced data. The interop data can always be generated again from the enhanced data.

  • This is annoying, why would Siemens do this?
    Not shared by the Siemens technician, but our best guess is to reduce the number of files and improve performance.
    1. Session transfers are quicker, so the scan time is not reduced as much waiting for something to transfer.
    2. Less chance of files getting lost in transfer
    3. Quicker to archive in the CNDA (Siemens didn't think of this, but it's true)

  • My study doesn't use BOLD or DTI, why should I switch?
    For several reason stated above really.  This is the future for Siemens MR, and it really helps out on transfer performance and keeping track of your data.

Other stuff we have learned

Here are some headers that we know have moved in the enhanced DICOM.

Old header (no sequence)

Enhanced DICOM sequence

Enhanced DICOM header

(0018,0084)         Imaging Frequency                            


Transmitter Frequency (0018,9098)

(0020,0032)         Image Position (Patient)


(0020,0032)        Image Position (Patient)

(0020,0037)         Image Orientation (Patient)         


(0020,0037)        Image Orientation (Patient)         

Other information about headers in the enhanced DICOM can be found in the VIDA conformance statement.

Tools we've heard don't work directly with enhanced DICOM

(please let us know if you have one, so we can add to the list)


FreeSurfer 5.3 – however you can convert DICOM to NIfTI with the CNDA dcm2niix pipeline and run our CNDA FreeSurfer 5.3 pipeline on the NIfTI