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Definition of project

The goal of this project is to create a survey of Publicly Available InVivo Medical Imaging Archives and the underlying software capabilities. It is generally agreed that there is a need for public medical imaging archives to provide the biomedical research community, industry, and academia with access to images that support:

  • Lesion detection and classification
  • Accelerated diagnostic imaging decision
  • Quantitative imaging assessment of drug response

The purpose of this project is to provide a practical guide for the community which allows them to assess existing software and instantiations that are appropriate to their research or clinical needs.

Publicly Hosted Biomedical Imaging Archives


NCI's NBIA node


Central XNAT

LONI Image Data Archive

Function BIRN Data Repository

NIRL Imaging Database


Give A Scan


Pediatric MRI Data Repository




Cancer Imaging Program, caBIG











Content Type

In Vivo Cancer Imaging



Alzheimer's Medical Imaging


Autism Research

Patient-contributed Medical scans





Archive Software













Supported Operating Systems

Linux, Mac?, Windows?












Active development Team/Community













Central curation/review













Explicit data sharing policy (link)


























Submission Technology













Standard of De-Identification

Supplement 142 w/ Keep Description, Retain Device Info options enabled












Support for multi-site submissions













Project- or collection- based groupings?













Size of Current Volume













Federated implementation













Public API












number of DICOM Tags query-able













DICOM transfer protocol

For submission, but not download












methods to download DICOM data

Web, FTP, Java Webstart client












Affiliation with Journal















  • Open source, federated model for grid based image sharing.
  • Allows for "nodes" to be deployed in other institutions, which can then be connected via the grid so they are query-able from any NBIA server.
  • Includes both public data access without login as well as option to build secure role-based Collections which require special access via logging in
  • Simple search query options include node selection, modality, contrast enhancement, anatomical site, image slice thickness, Collections (pre-defined sets of related images), the date the images were made available, and whether or not they have associated annotations
  • Advanced and Dynamic search options available to search upwards of 70 additional DICOM tag attributes
  • Images can be viewed on the web site via JPG thumbnails or using the Cine functionality
  • Allows for storage of annotation files and meta data, though there are plans to move most of this functionality to AIM data services in the near future
  • Downloads are provided in 3 formats, either via a Java webstart client (no size requirement issues, images are not zipped) or HTTP (zipped, for downloads <3GB in size) or an emailed link to an FTP site (zipped, for downloads >3GB in size)
  • Currently 2 major nodes hosted at NCI, one for CIP/CBIIT and another for NIAMS.
      • Contains ~25 purpose built image collections, ~15 of which are publicly accessible to anyone - more info on the contents of each collection can be found at
      • Collections range in size from as small as a handful of patients up to larger collections such as LIDC-IDRI (1010 patients) or the colonoscopy collections (over 800 patients each)
      • Approximately 2.5 TB of image data as of August 2010
    • NIAMS
      • Contains data on nearly 5,000 osteoarthritis patients as of August 2010
      • Modalities include MRI and CR


LONI homepage:

Image Data Archive -

  • Uses LONI Image Data Archive, not sure if this can be deployed and hosted elsewhere for other archives if desired.  Did not immediately notice any place to download the code.
  • Requires secure login, has role based access to various Projects in their archive.
  • Allows search based on project (prior to the simple query page) via Simple or Advanced query.  Simple query contains subject ID, modality, research group, series description, weighting, sex, age, slice thickness, and acquisition plane.  Advanced query offers a wide variety of 27 different search criteria pertaining to the patient, project, clinical info, study info, and image attributes. (Note: advanced query only seems to be an option with ADNI data set)
  • Viewing images in the web site launches "LONI Image Viewer", a java based viewer which lets you scan through image slices in axial/sagittal/coronal orientations as well as zoom, pan, flip (horizontal/vertical) and adjust brightness and contrast.
  • Can add specific series/studies to custom collections, collections can then be downloaded or shared.  Download can be in native DICOM format or in NiFTI/ANALYZE/MINC formats? I've heard of NiFTI, not sure what the other options are.  Download is managed through a java applet, came with images and a couple XML files containing some patient and equipment metadata.
  • Data collections include:
    • Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) - Consists of both image data (MRI and PET), image meta-data, and additional clinical/genetic/numeric summary data for 895 patients
    • BRIN - Logged in with my "ADNI (GUEST)" access this Project only appeared to have one 3 year old patient, no description of this data set is on the "Available Data" page
    • Cryosection Imaging (CRYO) - 3 patients, histology modality
    • Public Anonymized Dataset (PAD) - 3 "normal control" patients, MRI modality
    • International Consortium for Brain Mapping (ICBM) - 851 "normal control" patients, modalities including MRI, fMRI, MRA, DTI, and PET.  I do not have access to this data set currently so did not review its contents.
    • Australian Imaging Biomarkers & Lifestyle Flagship Study of Ageing (AIBL) - 285 patients including controls, MCI, and AD subject groups.  Modalities include MRI and PET.  I do not have access to this data set currently so did not review its contents.


BIRN data portal:

BIRN is connected with multiple institutions which host multiple archives using different software and containing different data sets.

  • Function BIRN Data Repository -
    • Contains 5 data sets according to the BIRN data page (but it's actually 4). 
    • On the home page it displays a description of each data set and then presents pre-packaged data files in a drill down tree style menu which lists what appears to be individual patients in some cases, individual image studies in others.
    • Querying across the data is possible using meta data.  It does not appear query against DICOM tags is possible.
    • The site itself seems to be a custom web site, not something that could be easily used for other archives.
    • Downloads happen in the browser.  You choose what you want to download, it is processed on the server and there is an alert that notifies you when your "job" is ready for download.  Testing a 100mb patient download I was notified pretty quickly that my job was done, but getting the job page to load took about a minute before I was presented with a small table of information and buttons to actually download the file.  Pressing the download button resulted in saving a .TAR file to my computer.  TAR structure contained many subdirectories sorted by study then series and so on.  Images contained DCM file extension and there were also a couple XML files included with some meta-data.
    • The data sets include the following (but the last one is not yet posted, may never be since this was done in 2007):
      • BrainScape Resting State fMRI Dataset 1 - This dataset includes seventeen healthy subjects with four resting state fixation scans plus one T1 scan and one T2 scan.
      • BrainScape Resting State fMRI Dataset 2 - This dataset includes ten healthy subjects scanned 3 times with 3 conditions: eyes open, eyes closed, and fixating in addition to two anatomical scans (T1 and T2).
      • Neuroimaging Calibration Study (Phase II) - The FBIRN multi-site dataset of subjects with schizophrenia and controls includes functional MRI images, behavioral data, demographic, and clinical assessments on 253 subjects from around the US.
      • Traveling subjects study (Phase I) - This dataset includes five healthy subjects imaged twice at each of ten FBIRN MRI scanners on successive days.
  • NIRL Imaging Database -
    • Uses XNAT for the archive software (unsure what version or if any major customizations were made)
    • Contains both image data and meta-data
    • Includes the following data sets:
      • Efficient Longitudinal Upload of Depression in the Elderly (ELUDE) - The ELUDE dataset is a longitudinal study of late-life depression at Duke University. There are 281 depressed subjects and 154 controls included (435 total patients). An MR scan of each subject was obtained every 2 years for up to 8 years (total of 1093 scans). Clinical assessments occurred more frequently and consists of a battery of psychiatric tests including several depression-specific tests.
      • Multisite Imaging Research In the Analysis of Depression (MIRIAD) - A multiple institution study of structural MRI, including raw PD and T2 MRIs and derived measures of white matter changes, basal ganglia and other regions. Demographic and extensive clinical assessment data is available for each case. (100 patients)
  • Central XNAT-


NAMIC Image Gallery:

Lung Cancer Alliance: Give A Scan


Pediatric MRI Data Repository

NIH Image Bank


EORTC TUMOR BANK (pathology)


Image archive software solutions















Query flexibility







Role Based Security







Public access option







Active Development






Supports Federated Implementation







API available







Supported image formats







Supported metadata formats







Helpdesk support







Transfer protocols (import/export)







Controlled Vocabulary







Deployment Support











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