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Read DICOM image


X = dicomread(filename)
X = dicomread(info)
[X,map] = dicomread(...)
[X,map,alpha] = dicomread(...)
[X,map,alpha,overlays] = dicomread(...)
[...] = dicomread(filename, 'frames', v)
[...] = dicomread(___,'UseVRHeuristic',TF)


X = dicomread(filename) reads the image data from the compliant Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) file filename. For single-frame grayscale images, X is an M-by-N array. For single-frame true-color images, X is an M-by-N-by-3 array. Multiframe images are always 4-D arrays.

X = dicomread(info) reads the image data from the message referenced in the DICOM metadata structure info. The info structure is produced by the dicominfo function.

[X,map] = dicomread(...) returns the image X and the colormap map. If X is a grayscale or true-color image, map is empty.

[X,map,alpha] = dicomread(...) returns the image X, the colormap map, and an alpha channel matrix for X. The values of alpha are 0 if the pixel is opaque; otherwise they are row indices into map. The RGB value in map should be substituted for the value in X to use alpha. alpha has the same height and width as X and is 4-D for a multiframe image.

[X,map,alpha,overlays] = dicomread(...) returns the image X, the colormap map, an alpha channel matrix for X, and any overlays from the DICOM file. Each overlay is a 1-bit black and white image with the same height and width as X. If multiple overlays are present in the file, overlays is a 4-D multiframe image. If no overlays are in the file, overlays is empty.

[...] = dicomread(filename, 'frames', v) reads only the frames in the vector v from the image. v must be an integer scalar, a vector of integers, or 'all'. The default value is 'all'.

[...] = dicomread(___,'UseVRHeuristic',TF) instructs the parser to use a heuristic to help read certain noncompliant files which switch value representation (VR) modes incorrectly. dicomread displays a warning if the heuristic is used. When TF is true (the default), a small number of compliant files will not be read correctly. Set TF to false to read these compliant files.

Class Support

X can be uint8, int8, uint16, or int16. map must be double. alpha has the same size and type as X. overlays is a logical array.


Use dicomread to retrieve the data array, X, and colormap matrix, map, needed to create a montage.

[X, map] = dicomread('US-PAL-8-10x-echo.dcm');
montage(X, map, 'Size', [2 5]);

Call dicomread with the information retrieved from the DICOM file using dicominfo and display the image using imshow. Adjust the contrast of the image using imcontrast.

info = dicominfo('CT-MONO2-16-ankle.dcm');
Y = dicomread(info);
figure, imshow(Y);

More About

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  • This function reads imagery from files with one of these pixel formats:

    • Little-endian, implicit VR, uncompressed

    • Little-endian, explicit VR, uncompressed

    • Big-endian, explicit VR, uncompressed

    • JPEG (lossy or lossless)

    • JPEG2000 (lossy or lossless)

    • Run-length Encoding (RLE)

    • GE implicit VR, LE with uncompressed BE pixels (1.2.840.113619.5.2)

Introduced before R2006a

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