DICOM PS3.17 2019c - Explanatory Information

NN.2.2 Containers

Specimen containers (or just "containers") play an important role in laboratory (diagnostic) processes. In most, but not all, process steps, specimens are held in containers, and a container often carries its specimen's ID. Sometimes the container becomes intimately involved with the specimen (e.g., a paraffin block), and in some situations (such as examining tissue under the microscope) the container (the slide and coverslip) become part of the optical path.

Containers have identifiers that are important in laboratory operations and in some imaging processes (such as whole slide imaging). The DICOM Specimen Module distinguishes the Container ID and the Specimen ID, making them different data elements. In many laboratories where there is one specimen per container, the value of the specimen ID and container ID will be same. However, there are use cases in which there are more than one specimen in a container. In those situations, the value of the container ID and the specimen IDs will be different (see Section NN.3.5).

Containers are often made up of components. For example, a "slide" is container that is made up of the glass slide, the coverslip and the "glue" the binds them together. The Module allows each component to be described in detail.

DICOM PS3.17 2019c - Explanatory Information