DICOM PS3.3 2024c - Information Object Definitions

C.18.8 Container Macro

Table C.18.8-1 specifies the Attributes of the Container Macro, which convey a CONTAINER Content Item.

Table C.18.8-1. Container Macro Attributes

Attribute Name



Attribute Description

Continuity of Content



This flag specifies for a CONTAINER whether or not its contained Content Items are logically linked in a continuous textual flow, or are separate Items.

Enumerated Values:



See Section C. for further explanation.

Content Template Sequence



Template that describes the content of this Content Item and its subsidiary Content Items.

Only a single Item shall be included in this Sequence.

Required if a template defined and known to the implementation at the time of encoding was used to define the content of this Item, and the template consists of a single CONTAINER with nested content, and it is the outermost invocation of a set of nested templates that start with the same CONTAINER (see Section C.

>Mapping Resource



Mapping Resource that defines the template. See Section 8.4.

Defined Terms:


DICOM Content Mapping Resource

>Mapping Resource UID



Uniquely identifies the Mapping Resource that defines the template.


The unique identifier for the DICOM Content Mapping Resource "DCMR" is defined in PS3.6.

>Template Identifier



Template identifier.

C.18.8.1 Container Macro Attribute Descriptions

C. Continuity of Content

Continuity of Content (0040,A050) specifies whether or not all the Content Items contained in a CONTAINER are logically linked in a continuous textual flow, or are separate entities. It only applies to the children contained in the container, and not their children (which if containers themselves, will have the Attribute specified explicitly).


  1. This allows the interspersing of measurements, codes, and image references, amongst text. For example, the following: "A mass of diameter = 3 cm was detected." can be represented by the following Content Items in a CONTAINER with a Continuity of Content (0040,A050) of CONTINUOUS:

    TEXT "A mass of"

    NUM "Diameter" 3 "cm"

    TEXT "was detected."

  2. The Continuity of Content applies only to subsidiary Content Items with Relationship Type CONTAINS. Other subsidiary Content Items, e.g., with Relationship Type HAS CONCEPT MOD or HAS OBS CONTEXT, are not part of the Continuity of Content, but apply to the Container as a whole.

C. Content Template Sequence

A Template for SR Documents defines a set of constraints on the relationships and content (Value Types, Codes, etc.) of Content Items. Specific Templates for SR Documents are defined either by the DICOM Standard (see PS3.16) or by users of the Standard for particular purposes. Usage of Templates for SR Documents may improve comparability of essential data, facilitate data-entry and revisions, enable automatic processing and simplify presentation of information to the user.


New subordinate templates may be factored out of existing Templates during revisions to the Standard or revisions to private Template definitions. It is permissible for Instances created by implementations made prior to such refactoring to omit identification of a Template of which they had no future knowledge. Receivers should be wary of depending on the presence of identification information for subordinate templates.

An SR Document consists of a Root CONTAINER Content Item with nested content, and as such may be defined by a Template specifying a single CONTAINER with nested content. Sub-trees of an SR Document Content Tree may similarly be defined by a Template specifying a single CONTAINER with nested content. If created using such a Template, the Root and/or sub-tree shall identify the Template in the CONTAINER Content Item. When a Template invokes (includes) another Template, the outermost invoking Template is the one identified as the defining Template for the CONTAINER in the Content Template Sequence (0040,A504).

The Content Template Sequence (0040,A504) identifies the Template that was used in the creation of the associated Content Item and its subsidiary Content Items. A Template is identified by a Mapping Resource (0008,0105) (the entity that manages or registers the Template), and an identifier of the Template. DICOM Standard Templates are identified in Template Identifier (0040,DB00) using the CS value representation.

The DICOM Template Identifier (0040,DB00) is a string of digits, without leading zeroes, and does not include the string "TID".

DICOM PS3.3 2024c - Information Object Definitions