Differences between Siemens .ima and .dcm files

Dear Siemens users (and anyone who has exported their MRS data in the DICOM format),

I’ve been wondering if there are any fundamental differences between the Siemens .ima file format and the DICOM .dcm format. I am specifically referring to the header format.

As far as I can tell, the format is pretty much identical.

I am aware that the newer XA30 system supports an “enhanced” DICOM format, but I believe the enhancement refers more to how the data itself is stored in the files and not the header. Is that correct?


Hi Mark,

I think it might be to do with what SOPClassUID is used. See some very limited notes in the spec2nii repo.

Actually, I think it might also come down to what route you’ve exported it through. IMA when you use Siemens’ own Export to offline route on the scanner. .dcm when something like DCMTK has been used to receive and write the data automatically sent from the scanner;

Thanks, @wclarke! This is very helpful. I’m currently trying to finalize the MRS-BIDS extension and making sure we can conform as much as we can with DICOM where appropriate.