DICOM PS3.4 2024c - Service Class Specifications

H.2 Print Management Model

H.2.1 Print Management Data Flow Model

H.2.1.1 Global Data Flow Model

The Print Management Data Flow Model (Figure H.2-1) consists of three main processes:

  • Film Session Management process

  • Print process


The Standard uses the word film as a general name for different types of hard copy media (e.g., photographic film, paper).

Print Management Data Flow Model

Figure H.2-1. Print Management Data Flow Model

The Film Session Management process is responsible for acquiring all the information that is required to print the film session. The film session is the atomic work package of the Print Management Application and contains one or more films related in a user defined way (e.g., belonging to the same exam, patient) that are originated from one host (e.g., workstation, diagnostic modality) and that are printed on one hard copy printer.

Each film consists of one or more images and zero or more film related annotations. An annotation consists of one or more lines of text.

Each image consists of pixel data and zero or more overlay planes. The user controls the look of the film by assigning values to print parameters.

Print parameters are defined at film session, film, image and annotation levels. The parameter level determines the scope of operation of the print parameters (e.g., print parameters of the image level are valid for the corresponding image).

The inputs of the Film Session Management process are:

  • set of images and image related data

  • presentation data that describes the visual look of the films

The output of the Film Session Management process is the Print Job, which contains all the information to print the film session.

The Print process prints a set of films, based on the information in the Print Job. The Print process is implementation specific and its management is beyond the scope of the DICOM Standard.

H.2.1.2 Grayscale Transformations

The Print Management Service Class supports two grayscale transformations and spatial transformations that converts an original image into a printed image.

The sequence of spatial transformations (e.g., magnification and merging of annotation with images) and their relationships with the grayscale transformations are implementation specific and fall beyond the scope of the DICOM Standard.

The sequence of grayscale transformations is important for achieving consistent image quality because of the non-orthogonal nature of the different transformations. Figure H.2-2 describes the sequence of grayscale transformations.


This section previously described Modality LUT and VOI LUT transformations in more detail. Since Referenced Print SOP Classes have been retired, these descriptions no longer apply to the Print Management Service Class. See PS 3.4-1998.

Print Management Data Flow Model

Figure H.2-2. Print Management Data Flow Model

H. Modality and User Specific Transformations

Examples of these transformations are Modality LUT, Mask Subtraction, and VOI LUT.

The Modality LUT transforms manufacturer dependent pixel values into pixel values that are meaningful for the modality and are manufacturer independent.

The VOI LUT transforms the modality pixel values into pixel values that are meaningful for the user or the application. For example it selects of a range of pixel values to be optimized for display, such as soft tissue or bone windows in a CT image.

H. Polarity

Polarity specifies whether minimum input pixel values shall be displayed as black or white. If Polarity (2020,0020) is NORMAL then the pixels will be displayed as specified by Photometric Interpretation; if Polarity is REVERSE then the pixels will be displayed with the opposite polarity as specified by Photometric Interpretation.

Polarity (2020,0020) is an Attribute of the Image Box IOD.

H. Presentation LUT

The Presentation LUT transforms the polarity pixel values into Presentation Values (P-Values), which are meaningful for display of the images. P-Values are approximately related to human perceptual response. They are intended to facilitate consistent display with common input for both hardcopy and softcopy display devices and be independent of the specific class or characteristics of the display device. It is used to realize image display tailored for specific modalities, applications, and user preferences

In the Print Management Service Class, the Presentation LUT is part of the Presentation LUT IOD.

Hardcopy devices convert P-Values into optical density for printing. This conversion depends on desired image D-max and D-min. It also depends on expected viewing conditions such as lightbox intensity for transparency films. The conversion to printed density is specified in the Presentation LUT SOP Class.

If the modality desires to natively specify P-Values as its output, it can negotiate for support of the Presentation LUT, but specify a LUT that is an identity function. The identity function informs the display device that no further translation is necessary.


Performing this translation in the printer prevents potential loss of precision (detail) that would occur if this translation were to be performed on many of the existing 8-bit modalities.

DICOM PS3.4 2024c - Service Class Specifications