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May 16, 2011 8:50 PM   Subscribe

Please help me open the MRI images on the CD-rom I received when I left the hospital.

I recently had an MRI of my shoulder, and came home with a CD-rom of the images, of which I only got a fleeting glimpse while the doctor flipped through telling me about the results. I'd like to pore over these images, but have had no luck opening them on my Macbook. Can anyone suggest a free conversion software, or a means to open the images?

What I believe to be the images have no extension (.jpg, .gif, etc), they are just titled with a string of six numbers (eg 693101). There is also a file entitled Thumbs.db which won't open as is or in iPhoto.

Any advice would be most appreciated!
posted by purplefiber to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have access to a windows machine? I had a copy of my x-ray DVD a while back, and it actually had the software for viewing the images on the disc, but it was windows-only. It auto-ran when I inserted the disc. If there are more than just the six files, your CD-rom may work the same way.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:53 PM on May 16, 2011

I got a cd of an abdominal ultrasound (don't have it handy so I can't check) but it had directions on the case. I think all I had to do was click on the file that showed up when I put it in the computer. However, this was on a Windows machine...I'm wondering if they aren't compatible with a Mac? The CD I had didn't mention it so maybe they were assuming a doctors commuter would be Windows and that I wasn't planning on looking at it at my house. I'm too curious not to though! Do you have access to a Windows machine you could try it on?
posted by MultiFaceted at 8:56 PM on May 16, 2011

I have used Fusion (along with Windows XP) to view my MRI footage on my Macs. Parallels would not work because it does not support the version of DirectX that the MRI viewer software needed (but that may be different now).
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:57 PM on May 16, 2011

BJE is right. It's windows-only software. (A room of very smart people and I tried for nearly an hour trying to get an MRI disc to run on a mac--we couldn't get it to happen.)

Even if there were a way to extract the images (which there may be, I don't know), you really want the software. It'll scan through the images slice by slice, and it's pretty cool.

See if you can borrow a friend's laptop.
posted by phunniemee at 8:58 PM on May 16, 2011

If you post a sample file somewhere, I'll try to see if I have something around that can convert it.
posted by novalis_dt at 8:59 PM on May 16, 2011

Response by poster: Wonderful, thank you everyone! I will get myself to a Windows machine and hope for success. Otherwise, Novalis_dt, what a kind offer, and I'll get in touch with a link.
posted by purplefiber at 9:06 PM on May 16, 2011

Once you open it on a Windows machine with the built-in viewer, you can yank the folders with the actual image files.

(The viewer lets you view the MRI kinda as if you're the MRI machine, though, scanning from outside in and across. It's neat.)
posted by desuetude at 9:13 PM on May 16, 2011

You probably don't need a PC. All they need is any old DICOM viewer I suspect. Try using Osirix.
posted by drpynchon at 9:25 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

Seconding drpynchon re: OsiriX. It'll nicely stitch together your slices in a pile of 3-D rotatable false colored goodness. On your Mac. Free.
posted by mumkin at 9:31 PM on May 16, 2011

Response by poster: OsiriX did it- thanks again, everyone! LOVE askmefi...
posted by purplefiber at 10:04 PM on May 16, 2011

Thirding OsiriX - I've used it for MRIs and CT scans with no problem.
posted by zippy at 10:52 PM on May 16, 2011

For those who may be wondering:
DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) is a standard for handling, storing, printing, and transmitting information in medical imaging.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:58 AM on May 17, 2011

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