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This gear reports on the Dicom files data elements and optionally fixes or enhances the problematic ones, generating a new archive.

Project description

Dicom Fixer



This gear is responsible for reporting on the Dicom files data elements and optionally fixing/enhancing the problematic ones and generating a new archive.


License: MIT


Category: Converter

Gear Level:

  • Project
  • Subject
  • Session
  • Acquisition
  • Analysis



  • dicom: Input dicom

  • dicom

    • Name: dicom
    • Type: file
    • Optional: False
    • Classification: DICOM file
    • Description: Input DICOM to be fixed


  • debug
    • Name: debug
    • Type: boolean
    • Description: Include debug statements in output.
    • Default: False
  • dicom-standard
    • Name: dicom-standard
    • Type: string
    • Description: Specify which DICOM standard edition to use. local refers to the locally-saved edition for faster processing. current fetches the most up-to-date edition at runtime.
    • Default: "local"
  • standardize_transfer_syntax
    • Name: standardize_transfer_syntax
    • Type: boolean
    • Description: Whether or not to change TransferSyntaxUID to ExplicitVRLittleEndian.
    • Default: True
  • strict-validation
    • Name: strict-validation
    • Type: boolean
    • Description: Enforce strict DICOM validation if true; else, allow python-parsable values that may not meet DICOM standard.
    • Default: False
  • tag
    • Name: tag
    • Type: string
    • Description: The tag to be added on input file upon run completion.
    • Default: "dicom-fixer"
  • unique
    • Name: unique
    • Type: boolean
    • Description: Enforce DICOM uniqueness by SOPInstanceUID or file hash. Remove duplicate DICOMs.
    • Default: True
  • zip-single-dicom
    • Name: zip-single-dicom
    • Type: string
    • Description: Output a single DICOM as zip ( instead of a DICOM (.dcm) or match input.
    • Default: "match"


This gear identifies and fixes invalid DICOM tags of the input file. Additionally, dicom-fixer will add a QC result titled fixed to either the input file if no output is written, or the output file if there is an output. The state will be either PASS or FAIL. For a PASS result, any fixing events will be under the events key.


Prerequisite Gear Runs

  1. Splitter
    • Level: Acquisition
    • Note: If multiple SeriesInstanceUIDs are present within the DICOM collection, Splitter must be run before Dicom-Fixer.

Prerequisite Files

No prerequisite files.

Prerequisite Metadata

No prerequisite metadata.



This gear checks the input DICOM's tags and makes corrections as needed, whether configured to adhere to DICOM Standard (when strict-validation=True) or configured to only check for python parsability (when strict-validation=False).

This gear utilizes the tracker functionality of RawDataElements in fw-file. Namely, it houses a collection of default and custom fixers that are applied to RawDataElements on read through pydicom.

Dicom fixer will also decompress compressed TransferSyntaxes so that no issues are met on the platform downstream.

Standardize transfer syntax

The standardize_transfer_syntax option supports the following Transfer Syntaxes:

Name UID Supported
Explicit VR Little Endian 1.2.840.10008.1.2.1 :white_check_mark:
Implicit VR Little Endian 1.2.840.10008.1.2 :white_check_mark:
Explicit VR Big Endian 1.2.840.10008.1.2.2 :white_check_mark:
Deflated Explicit VR Little Endian 1.2.840.10008. :white_check_mark:
RLE Lossless 1.2.840.10008.1.2.5 :white_check_mark:
JPEG Baseline (Process 1) 1.2.840.10008. :white_check_mark:
JPEG Extended (Process 2 and 4) 1.2.840.10008. :white_check_mark:
JPEG Lossless (Process 14) 1.2.840.10008. :white_check_mark:
JPEG Lossless (Process 14, SV1) 1.2.840.10008. :white_check_mark:
JPEG LS Lossless 1.2.840.10008. :white_check_mark:
JPEG LS Lossy 1.2.840.10008. :white_check_mark:
JPEG2000 Lossless 1.2.840.10008. :white_check_mark:
JPEG2000 1.2.840.10008. :white_check_mark:
JPEG2000 Multi-component Lossless 1.2.840.10008. :x:
JPEG2000 Multi-component 1.2.840.10008. :x:

All transfer syntax decompressing is done with pydicom using either numpy and GDCM, JPEG-LS, Pillow, or pylibjpeg, see more info on pydicom's docs on supported transfer syntaxes

Color space conversion

For color files, after decompression (usually jpeg) the color space will be converted to RGB for better downstream support. Currently color space conversion is supported for the following PhotometricInterpretations:

  • YBR_FULL_422

File Specifications


The input of this gear is a DICOM file.


graph LR;
    A[dicom]:::input --> C;
    C[Upload] --> D[Acquisition];
    D:::container --> E((Gear));

    E:::gear --> F[Input replaced with fixed DICOM if fixes applied];
    classDef container fill:#57d,color:#fff
    classDef input fill:#7a9,color:#fff
    classDef gear fill:#659,color:#fff

Description of workflow:

  1. Upload file to container
  2. Select file as input to gear
  3. Configure gear as needed
  4. If fixes are required and gear passes, gear replaces file with an updated version and QC is marked as PASS. If fixes are required and gear does not pass, QC is marked as FAIL. If no fixes are identified, input file is retained and marked as PASS.


The following fixes are applied:

General fixes from fw-file

  • Fix VR for SpecificCharacterSet and surplus SequenceDelimitationItem tags.
  • Replace VR=None with VR found in the public or private dictionaries.
  • Replace VR='UN' with VR found in the public or private dictionaries.
  • Replace invalid \ characters with _ in string VR values of VM=1.
  • Crop text VRs which are too long.
  • Fix an invalid UID. Determine if UID is semi-valid (e.g. composed of a minimum 5 nodes including invalid node starting with 0), if semi-valid, generates a new UID with the semi-valid UID as entropy source (deterministic), else, generates a new UID.
  • Fix date times tags. Attempt to parse an invalid date and format correctly.
  • Fix AS strings. Ensure one of D,W,M,Y is at end of the string, and pad to 4 characters. If no time quantifier is present, assume Years.
  • Fix number strings. Fix DS (Decimal String) and IS (Integer String) number strings by removing invalid characters and truncate floats in IS VR.
  • Fix invalid character. Attempt to remove non-printable characters from byte decoding.
  • Fix invalid VR value. Try to fix an invalid value for the given VR.
  • Fix LUT Descriptor tags.

Custom fixes

  • Fix incorrect units. Correct MagneticFieldStrength from milli-Tesla to Tesla.
  • Remove file in archive that are not likely DICOM (defined as having at least 2 public dicom tags outside the file_meta (0000, 0002) group).
  • Optionally, sets the TransferSyntaxUID to ExplicitVRLittleEndian.



DICOM-fixer will either output a fixed file to overwrite the input or will output nothing


DICOM-fixer will add a QC result titled fixed to either the input file if no output is written, or the output file if there is an output. The state will be either PASS or FAIL:

  • PASS if either fixes were attempted and write was successful, or if no fixes were attempted.
  • FAIL if fixes were attempted but write was not successful.

For a PASS result, any fixing events will be under the events key.

Use Cases

Use Case 1: Invalid DICOM tags, strict validation

DICOM has invalid tag values and needs to adhere to DICOM Standard:

For DICOMs that must adhere to DICOM Standard, the strict-validation config option should be set to True. dicom-standard can be set to "local" (default) for faster processing with the locally-saved DICOM Standard, or set to "current" to retrieve the most recent DICOM Standard at runtime.

Use Case 2: Invalid DICOM tags, non-strict validation

DICOM has invalid tag values, but information retention is preferred over strict adherance to DICOM Standard:

For situations where information retention is preferred over strict DICOM standard adherance, the strict-validation config option should be set to False (default). This tells the gear to keep tag values unless they are not python parsable.


The gear logs events as it processes the input DICOM. If fixes are required, the gear log notates these as they are identified. The gear then logs whether or not output is written and reason for writing output. The .metadata.json created by the gear is logged, including the parent file, gear configuration, QC results, and file tags. When debug is set to True, debugging-level statements are logged.



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