Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) is a standard for handling, storing, printing, and
transmitting information in medical imaging. XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a set of rules for encoding
documents in machine-readable form which has become more and more popular. The combination of these two is very
necessary and promising. Using XML tags instead of numeric labels in DICOM files will effectively increase the
readability and enhance the clear hierarchical structure of DICOM files. However, due to the fact that the XML tags rely
heavily on the orders of the tags, the strong data dependency has a lot of influence on the flexibility of inserting and
In order to improve the extensibility and sharing of DICOM files, this paper introduces XML Path-Tag to DICOM.
When a DICOM file is converted to XML format, adding simple Path-Tag into the DICOM file in place of complex tags
will keep the flexibility of a DICOM file while inserting data elements and give full play to the advantages of the
structure and readability of an XML file. Our method can solve the weak readability problem of DICOM files and the
tedious work of inserting data into an XML file. In addition, we set up a conversion engine that can transform among
traditional DICOM files, XML-DCM and XML-DCM files involving XML Path-Tag efficiently.