The viewing of radiological images has peculiarities that must be taken into account in the design of a compression technique. The images may be manipulated on a workstation to change the contrast, to change the center of the brightness levels that are viewed, and even to invert the images. Because of the possible consequences of losing information in a medical application, bit preserving compression is used for the images used for diagnosis. However, for archiving the images may be compressed to 10 of their original size. A compression technique based on the Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) takes the viewing factors into account by compressing the changes in the local brightness levels. The compression technique is a variation of the CCITT JPEG compression that suppresses the blocking of the DCT except in areas of very high contrast.