Note: When contributing to this page please use Firefox as your browser to allow use of the "Rich Text" WYSIWYG interface for editing this page. Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari only allow editing the wiki markup code.

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:

The purpose of this project is to provide a practical guide for the community which allows them to:

  1. to assess existing software and instantiations that are appropriate to their research or clinical needs.
  2. to locate relevant  publicly available data for research

We encourage any feedback from the wider community that may help improve this information or correct any misconceptions stated below. The survey is divided into two sections:

  1. Publicly hosted biomedical imaging archives which are populated with actual data which researchers, teachers, industry, etc may wish to utilize
  2. Image archive software solutions which one could download and use to host their own DICOM image data sets

Publicly Hosted Biomedical Imaging Archives

The following table is a list of publicly accessible DICOM based biomedical image archives. Following the table is an analysis of what was found upon reviewing each archive in August 2010.




Central XNAT

Image Data Archive

Function BIRN Data Repository

NIRL Imaging Database

Give A Scan

Optical Society of America (OSA)

Pediatric MRI Data Repository

Insight Journal


Cancer Imaging Program, caBIG



Lab of NeuroImaging UCLA (LONI)



Lung Cancer Alliance

Optical Society of America


Insight Journal

Content Type

In Vivo Cancer Imaging


Biomedical images and meta data

ADNI (Alzheimers),
CRYO (histology),
ICBM (Brain mapping),
AIBL (Autralian Aging)

Brain scans

ELUDE (Elderly Depression),
MIRIAD (Depression)

Patient-contributed Medical scans

Normal brain development 

Biomedical images and meta data

Archive Software




Image Data Archive







Login account required

For advanced site features or limited access data sets, but is not required for accessing public data








Explicit data sharing policy

Yes, with options for uploading fully open or limited access data sets








Accepting new data

Yes, with approval from NCI CBIIT/CIP








Central curation/review

Yes, performed by CBIIT/CIP staff









~99%, hosted on a redundant production system at NCI CBIIT








Project- or Collection- based groupings?









Size of Current Volume









number of DICOM Tags query-able









DICOM transfer protocol

For submission, but not download








methods to download DICOM data

Web (zip), FTP, Java Webstart client








Affiliation with Journal












LONI homepage:

Image Data Archive -


BIRN data portal:

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

Insight Journal

A MIDAS based image archive which contains a number of data sets contributed from NAMIC, NLM, Kitware, the Insight Software Consortium, and more. "Communities" listed on the site include:

Lung Cancer Alliance: Give A Scan

From their homepage-

*Give A Scan* is the world's first patient-powered, publicly available archive of images and clinical data on lung cancer patients. All the data has been donated by patients in order to encourage more researchers to focus on lung cancer and to accelerate progress in the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer which is now the leading cause of cancer death worldwide.

As of August 2010 the archive contains 9 "communities" which appear to be 9 patients with lung cancer totaling approximately 1GB of data.  The site provides some meta data information about the images and clinical info about the subjects.  Images are hosted in DICOM format.  The archive can be browsed by Community/patient/study/series or searched by modality and other image meta data.

The archive is hosted by the Kitware image archive solution called MIDAS:

Optical Society of America (OSA)

This archive is a collection of optical images. Like the Lung Cancer Alliance archive it is also hosted using Kitware's MIDAS archive software. This archive hosts 6 top level "communities" which contain anywhere from 4 to 242 items within them. In this case it seems not all of the data is DICOM but some of it is. Three of the Communities appear to be unrelated demonstration collections not tied to OSA as they contain lesion sizing data sets of lung images.


WebMIRS is the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) tool used for hosting two related datasets and related spine x-ray images which are part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The site requires registration and login through a java web client to view the data set. Most of the data is text based, but there are spine x-rays for some of the patients. The client allows for searching but not really browsing. The user must enter a boolean search query in order to retrieve any patient results. It does not appear that it is possible to actually download the images, rather that you can only view them in the WebMIRS client.

NA-MIC Image Gallery

National Alliance for Medical Image Computing (NA-MIC) Image Gallery:

As of October 2010 this consisted of ~383 images.  All images appear to be JPGs or similar compressed file types rather than actual DICOM.  The purpose of this gallery seems to be to create a repository for images, charts, and figures referenced in publications submitted to NA-MIC's publication database (   Images can be browsed by patient/study/series or searched by modality and a number of other image based features.

Pediatric MRI Data Repository

Part of the National Database for Autism Research (NDAR) program.

According to

The Pediatric MRI Data Repository will be the first in this series to be made available to ASD researchers, in the summer of 2010. At that time, investigators will be able to perform a single query in the NDAR portal to view results across multiple datasets.

The original Pediatric MRI Data Repository is located at Access to the data requires filling out multiple forms and faxing them to an office at NIH to receive permission. I have not yet requested access at this time to find out exactly what's in the archive, however some information about their quality control processes reveal a little about the image protocols and can be learned about here:

NIH Image Bank

The NIH Image Bank is located at

According to

The NIH Image Bank contains images from the collections of the 27 institutes and centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health. Contents include general biomedical and science-related images, clinicians, computers, patient care-related images, microscopy images, and various exterior images.

The point of the image bank appears to be more for promotional and marketing images. I did not notice any high quality medical images of actual patients or DICOM files which might be usable for research purposes.

European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)

According to their site investigators can make requests for access to data collected as part of EORTC trials after the primary end point has been published on. I did not see any place that outlined what trials are being conducted, what trials have been completed and reached their publication of primary endpoint, or exactly what types of data are collected. However in the PDF on this page which outlines their data sharing policy in more detail it lists in the section "4.3 Data Transfer" that "data will preferentially transferred in the form of an ASCII file (with .dat extension), with associated SAS programs to load the data into SAS." I saw no mention of how they handle images in this section and thus assume they may not collect or distribute any.

Image archive software solutions

Below is a list of image archive solutions that can be deployed by interested parties wishing to build their own DICOM based biomedical image archive. This list omits some of the archives above in cases where we could not find any information about how one might download and deploy their own instance of the software.














Query types/flexibility

Simple (9 parameters), Advanced (10 more parameters), Dynamic (boolean query of up to 90 DICOM tags)






Role Based Security







Public access option (no login req)







Active Development







Supports Federated Implementation







API available







Supported image formats







Supported metadata formats

XML, Zip






Helpdesk support







Transfer protocols (import/export)







Controlled Vocabulary







Deployment Support







Support Operating Systems

Linux, Mac, Windows






Standard of De-Identification

Incorporates S142 standards via CTP profiles






Support for multi-site submissions







Federated implementation