Grayscale Consistency

DICOM image consistency deals with displaying the images in an identical manner on soft and hard copy devices using a standard mapping from digital driving levels to luminance on a monitor or density on hard copy.

The key to preserving the image quality of a display is to calibrate the monitor at regular intervals. There is no ideal display characteristic curve for mapping digital driving levels into luminance values. However there is a gold standard that could be adhered to. This characteristic curve is generated by mapping just noticeable differences (JNDs) onto the light output (luminance) of a monitor or onto the optical density of a film. The resulting curve is called the Standard Grayscale Display Function. Using this standard, monitors and printers can be calibrated.
Matching the softcopy with a hardcopy is still somewhat of a

challenge, especially when printing is done, say, from a CR workstation or a PACS workstation. Either way, one might need to make sure the printer and workstation are configured correctly. The issue is not calibrating a printer, because that capability was present prior to the DICOM Grayscale Display Function.

What is needed is the support of the presentation Lookup Table (LUT) to be sent with the DICOM protocol that includes the correction that makes it consistent with what is seen on the monitor.

Both workstation and printer require the support of the presentation LUT storage SOP class to allow the LUT to be downloaded, and then the capability to refer to this LUT when actually performing the print commands.

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