DICOM PS3.18 2023b - Web Services

8.7 Media Types

Media types are the basis for both content negotiation and data typing of message payloads. Each PS3.18 service, and/or transaction defines the media types and associated representations that are default, required and optional.

The media type also specifies whether the payload contains a single representation (single part), or multiple representations (multipart). Multipart payloads are only defined for the RESTful APIs. See Section and Section 10.4.3.

Media types are identifiers used to define the data format of a representation. HTTP uses media types in the Content-Type and Accept header fields to provide open and extensible data typing and type negotiation. The syntax of media types is:

media-type = type "/" subtype *(OWS ";" OWS mt-parameter)


type         = token
subtype      = token
mt-parameter = mtp-name "=" mtp-value 
mtp-name     = token
mtp-value    = (token / quoted-string)

The 'type/subtype' may be followed by parameters in the form of 'name "=" value' pairs.

The type, subtype, and mtp-name tokens are case-insensitive, but the case sensitivity of parameter values depends on the semantics of the parameter name. The presence or absence of a parameter might be significant to the processing of a media-type, depending on its definition within the media type registry.

An mtp-value can be transmitted either as a token or quoted-string. The quoted and unquoted values are equivalent.

Media types are defined in [RFC7231] Section

IANA maintains a registry of media types [IANA Media Types].

Many media types specify a character set parameter.


The term "MIME Type" is not synonymous with "Media Type". MIME types are defined by Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions [RFC2045] and used by email programs. Media Types are defined by Media Type Specifications and Registration Procedures [RFC6838].

8.7.1 Multipart Media Types

Some of the services defined in this Part of the Standard support the multipart media types [RFC2387]. The syntax is:

multipart-media-type = "multipart" "/" subtype *(OWS ";" OWS parameter)

The application/multipart-related media type is used by the RESTful services. Its syntax is:

multipart-related = "multipart/related"
                    OWS ";" OWS "type" "=" (media-type / DQUOTE media-type DQUOTE)
                    OWS ";" OWS "boundary" "=" boundary


boundary           ; See Section
bchar              = bchar-nospace / SP
bchar-nospace      = DIGIT / ALPHA / "'" / "(" / ")" / "+" / "_" / "," / "-"
                     / "." / "/" / ":" / "=" / "?" "/" / ":" / "=" / "?"
related-parameters = [";" "start" "=" cid]
                     [";" "start-info" "=" cid-list]
cid-list           = cid cid-list
cid                = token / quoted-string

The "type" parameter is required. It contains the media type of the "root" body part. It should not contain quote marks per [RFC2387], but for historical compatibility and to agree with the [RFC2387] examples, it may contain quote marks.


Some origin servers have been observed to fail if quotes are present, and others may fail if quotes are absent, so user agents may want to handle such failures by trying the alternative pattern.

The cid is a content identifier. It should be unique for each part of the multipart message.

Typically, the "start" and "start-info" parameters are not specified, and the "root" is the first body part.

DICOM PS3.18 2023b - Web Services