Cytometry Markup Language, CytometryML, is a proposed new analytical cytology data standard. CytometryML is a set of XML schemas for encoding both flow cytometry and digital microscopy text based data types. CytometryML schemas reference both DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) codes and FCS keywords. These schemas provide representations for the keywords in FCS 3.0 and will soon include DICOM microscopic image data. Flow Cytometry Standard (FCS) list-mode has been mapped to the DICOM Waveform Information Object. A preliminary version of a list mode binary data type, which does not presently exist in DICOM, has been designed. This binary type is required to enhance the storage and transmission of flow cytometry and digital microscopy data. Index files based on Waveform indices will be used to rapidly locate the cells present in individual subsets. DICOM has the advantage of employing standard file types, TIF and JPEG, for Digital Microscopy.
Using an XML schema based representation means that standard commercial software packages such as Excel and MathCad can be used to analyze, display, and store analytical cytometry data. Furthermore, by providing one standard for both DICOM data and analytical cytology data, it eliminates the need to create and maintain special purpose interfaces for analytical cytology data thereby integrating the data into the larger DICOM and other clinical communities. A draft version of CytometryML is available at www.newportinstruments.com.