Nesting of Data Sets

The VR identified "SQ" shall be used for Data Elements with a Value consisting of a Sequence of zero or more Items, where each Item contains a set of Data Elements. SQ provides a flexible encoding scheme that may be used for simple structures of repeating sets of Data Elements, or the encoding of more complex Information Object Definitions often called folders. SQ Data Elements can also be used recursively to contain multi-level nested structures.

The definition of the Data Elements encapsulated in each Item is provided by the specification of the Data Element (or associated Attribute) of Value Representation SQ. Items in a sequence of Items may or may not contain the same set of Data Elements. Data Elements with a VR of SQ may contain multiple Items but shall always have a Value Multiplicity of one (i.e., a single Sequence).

There are three special SQ related Data Elements that are not ruled by the VR encoding rules conveyed by the Transfer Syntax. They shall be encoded as Implicit VR. These special Data Elements are Item (FFFE,E000), Item Delimitation Item (FFFE,E00D), and Sequence Delimitation Item (FFFE,E0DD). However, the Data Set within the Value Field of the Data Element Item (FFFE,E000) shall be encoded according to the rules conveyed by the Transfer Syntax. For more information about the SQ VR, refer to the Default Value Representation Table.

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