ACR/NEMA Digital Image Interface Standard (An Illustrated Protocol Overview)

  • G. Robert Lawrence
Conference paper


The American College of Radiologists (ACR) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) have sponsored a joint standards committee mandated to develop a universal interface standard for the transfer of radiology images among a variety of PACS imaging devices .

The resulting standard interface conforms to the IS0/0SI standard reference model for network protocol layering . The standard interface specifies the lower layers of the reference model (Physical, Data Link, Transport and Session) and implies a requirement of the Network Layer should a requirement for a network exist. The message content has been considered and a flexible message and image format specified.

The following Imaging Equipment modalities are supported by the standard interface. . .
  • CT Computed Tomography

  • NM Nuclear Medicine

  • MR Magnetic Resonance

  • DS Digital Subtraction

  • US Ultrasound

  • DR Digital Radiology

The following data types are standardized over the transmission interface media. . . .


  • TEXT






This paper consists of text supporting the illustrated protocol data flow. Each layer will be individually treated. Particular emphasis will be given to the Data Link layer (Frames) and the Transport layer (Packets). The discussion utilizes a finite state sequential machine model for the protocol layers.


Transport Layer Standard Interface National Electrical Manufacturer Association Message Format National Electrical Manufacturer Association 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    ACR/NEMA Digital Imaging and Communications Standard Interface, Published by NEMA as Draft, November 28, 1984, with later draft revisions.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    “Information Processing Systems — Open Systems Interconnection -Basic reference model,” International Standards Organization, ISO 7498, 1983.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Taylor L. Booth, “Sequential Machines and Automata Theory,” John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1968.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Shankar S. Hegde and Judith M.S. Prewitt, “A Layered Approach to PACS Network Architecture,” Proceedings of the 1984 IEEE Computer Society International Symposium on Medical Images and Icons. IEEE, New York, 1984.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Robert Lawrence
    • 1
  1. 1.IBM — Federal Systems DivisionGaithersburgUSA

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