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Developer(s) Gunter Zeilinger, dcm4che development team
Initial release May 31, 2006 (2006-05-31) (2.0.5)[1]
Stable release

5.31.2  (December 21, 2023; 2 months ago (2023-12-21))

Preview release none [±]
Written in Java
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Laboratory informatics software
License(s) GNU General Public License v2.0, GNU Library or Lesser General Public License v2.1,
and the Mozilla Public License v1.1
Website dcm4che.org

dcm4che3 is an open-source collection of applications and utilities for healthcare entities handling, storing, printing, and transmitting information in medical imaging. Like its predecessors "dcm4che" and "dcm4che2," this software utilizes the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) standard.

Product history

Around 2000, software developer Gunter Zeilinger wrote the code for JDicom, a popular DICOM application suite for handling and troubleshooting digital imaging processes. However, Zeilinger's experience using the Java DICOM Toolkit (JDT) to create JDicom led him to create his own Java-based DICOM toolkit. dcm4che was the end result, with the "che" part of the name supposedly being "inspired by the revolutionary nature of open source," and thus the revolutionary Che Guevara.[2] Intended as a JSR (Java Specification Request) as a standard Java-based DICOM API, the toolkit took on greater popularity within the Java DICOM development community.

By 2006, however, Zeilinger saw a greater need for a more streamlined and memory-friendly version of the software.[2] On May 31, 2006, the first open-source version of dmc4che2 saw light as version 2.0.5.[1] Since then developmental revisions have occurred at a mostly steady pace, slowing down in progress by 2011.

In November 2012, the seeds of dcm4che3 were released as version 3.0.0.[3] By release 3.2.0, the software was being fully referred to as "dcm4che3" in the files, and development has continued on it since.

The last version of dcm4che2 was 2.0.29, released on June 10, 2015.[1]


There are many utilities contained within the dcm4che2 toolkit. Here's a basic rundown of their functions[4]:

  • dcm2txt - Convert a DICOM object to text
  • dcm2xml - Convert a DICOM object to XML
  • dcmdir - Manipulate a DICOM dir
  • dcmecho - Initiate a C-ECHO command as an SCU
  • dcmgpwl - Query a General Purpose Worklist SCP
  • dcmmwl - Query a Modality Worklist SCP
  • dcmof - Simulate an Order Filler application
  • dcmqr - Perform C-FIND, C-GET and C-MOVE operations as an SCU
  • dcmrcv - DICOM receiver (C-STORE SCP)
  • dcmsnd - Perform C-STORE operations as an SCU
  • dcmups - Unified Worklist and Procedure Step SCU
  • dcmwado - Initiate DICOM WADO requests
  • jpg2dcm - Convert a JPEG image to DICOM
  • logger - Log files to a Syslog destination
  • mkelmdic - Create the serialized dcm4che2 DICOM dictionary
  • mkuiddic - Create the dcm4che2 UID dictionary
  • mkvrmap - Create the dcm4che2 VR mappings
  • pdf2dcm - Convert a PDF document to DICOM
  • rgb2ybr - Convert pixel data from YBR to RGB format
  • txt2dcmsr - Convert text to a DICOM Structured Report
  • xml2dcm - Convert XML to DICOM

Hardware/software requirements

Some extra precautions might need to be taken if installing on a Redhat/Fedora system.

For building all components of the toolkit, you'll need:

  • Ant 1.6.x
  • Maven 2.0.9

More information found here.

Videos, screenshots, and other media

Entities using dcm4che2

Nearly 40 healthcare providers, research projects, and software developers claim to be utilizing some form of dcm4che as of July 2012. Please refer to the dcm4che website for more information.

Further reading

External links

The primary repository for dcm4che3 can be found on SourceForge.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "dcm4che > Files > dcm4che2". SourceForge. http://sourceforge.net/projects/dcm4che/files/dcm4che2/. Retrieved 05 October 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Evans, Damien (3 August 2006). "dcm4che Wiki - History". SK-TECH.net. http://www.dcm4che.org/confluence/display/proj/history. Retrieved 05 October 2012. 
  3. "dcm4che > Files > dcm4che3". SourceForge. https://sourceforge.net/projects/dcm4che/files/dcm4che3/. Retrieved 06 May 2021. 
  4. Evans, Damien (31 July 2006). "dcm4che Wiki - dcm4che2 DICOM Toolkit". SK-TECH.net. http://www.dcm4che.org/confluence/display/d2/dcm4che2+DICOM+Toolkit. Retrieved 05 October 2012.