Load and Display a DICOM Image in the Medical Viewer - WinForms C#

This tutorial shows how to load and display a DICOM image in the LEADTOOLS MedicalViewer WinForms control. This will also show how to load and display DICOM tags in the viewer control, as well as how to configure mouse and keyboard viewer display actions.

Summary This tutorial covers how to load and display a DICOM image in the Medical Viewer in a WinForms C# Application.
Completion Time 30 minutes
Visual Studio Project Download tutorial project (11 KB)
Platform Windows WinForms C# Application
IDE Visual Studio 2019, 2022
Development License Download LEADTOOLS
Try it in another language

Required Knowledge

Get familiar with the basic steps of creating a project by reviewing the Add References and Set a License tutorial, Before working on the Load and Display a DICOM Image in the Medical Viewer - WinForms C# tutorial.

Create the Project and Add the LEADTOOLS References

Start with a copy of the project created in the Add References and Set a License tutorial. If you do not have that project, follow the steps in that tutorial to create it.

The references needed depend upon the purpose of the project. References can be added by one or the other of the following two methods (but not both).

If using NuGet references, this tutorial requires the following NuGet package:

If using local DLL references, the following DLLs are needed.

The DLLs are located at <INSTALL_DIR>\LEADTOOLS22\Bin\Dotnet4\x64:

For a complete list of which DLL files are required for your application, refer to Files to be Included With Your Application.

Set the License File

The License unlocks the features needed for the project. It must be set before any toolkit function is called. For details, including tutorials for different platforms, refer to Setting a Runtime License.

There are two types of runtime licenses:

Initialize the MedicalViewer

With the project created, the references added, and the license set, coding can begin.

Right-click on Form1.cs in the Solution Explorer and select View Code to display the code behind the form.

Add the code below to the using block at the top.

using System; 
using System.IO; 
using System.Windows.Forms; 
using Leadtools; 
using Leadtools.Dicom; 
using Leadtools.MedicalViewer; 

Add the global variables below to initialize the MedicalViewer control and the current multi-cell component.

private MedicalViewer _medicalViewer; 
private MedicalViewerMultiCell _cell; 

In the Solution Explorer, double-click Form1.cs to display it in the Designer. Click the Events icon in the Properties Window. Then, double-click the Load event to create an event handler if one does not already exist.

Add the following code inside the Form1_Load event handler.

private void Form1_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)  
   // Create the MedicalViewer control and add it to the form 
   _medicalViewer = new MedicalViewer(1, 1); 
   _medicalViewer.Dock = DockStyle.Fill; 
   // Startup the DICOM engine 

Add the Load DICOM Image Code

Open Form1.cs in the Designer, then add a File menu with a Load DICOM menu item. To do that, open the Toolbox and double-click MenuStrip, which will add a menu to the form. In the Designer, change the text of the menu to &File. Then add an item to the menu and set its text to &Load DICOM. Leave the new item's name as loadDICOMToolStripMenuItem.

Double-click the Load DICOM menu item to edit its event handler. Add the following code in it:

private void loadDICOMToolStripMenuItem_Click(object sender, EventArgs e) 
      // Clear existing cells 
      if (_medicalViewer.Cells.Count > 0) 
      // Show Open File dialog 
      OpenFileDialog dlg = new OpenFileDialog(); 
      dlg.InitialDirectory = @"C:\LEADTOOLS22\Resources\Images\DICOM"; 
      dlg.Filter = "DICOM DataSets (*.dcm)|*.dcm"; 
      if (dlg.ShowDialog(this) == DialogResult.OK) 
         DicomDataSet dataSet = new DicomDataSet(); 
         dataSet.Load(dlg.FileName, DicomDataSetLoadFlags.LoadAndClose); 
         DicomElement pixelDataElement = dataSet.FindFirstElement(null, DicomTag.PixelData, false); 
         if (pixelDataElement != null) 
            // Get images from DICOM dataset 
            DicomGetImageFlags dicomGetImageFlags = DicomGetImageFlags.AutoDetectInvalidRleCompression | DicomGetImageFlags.AutoApplyModalityLut | DicomGetImageFlags.AutoApplyVoiLut; 
            RasterImage image = dataSet.GetImages(pixelDataElement, 0, dataSet.GetImageCount(pixelDataElement), 0, RasterByteOrder.Gray, dicomGetImageFlags); 
            // Create viewer cell using the loaded images 
            if (_cell != null) 
               // Add the initialized multi-cell 
            MessageBox.Show("This dataset does not contain a PixelData element"); 
            _cell = null; 
   catch (Exception ex) 

Create a new method named InitializeMultiCell method. This method will be called inside the loadDICOMToolStripMenuItem_Click event handler, as shown above. Add the code below to create an instance of the MedicalViewerMultiCell class using the image from the DICOM file and set the cell's properties and actions.

private void InitializeMultiCell(RasterImage image) 
   // Initialize Medical Viewer MultiCell 
   _cell = new MedicalViewerMultiCell(image, true, 1, 1); 
   _cell.Rows = 1; 
   _cell.Columns = 1; 
   _cell.Frozen = false; 
   _cell.DisplayRulers = MedicalViewerRulers.Both; 
   _cell.ApplyOnIndividualSubCell = false; 
   _cell.ApplyActionOnMove = true; 
   _cell.FitImageToCell = true; 
   _cell.Selected = true; 
   _cell.ShowTags = true; 
   // Set Mouse and Keyboard actions 
   // Add some actions that will be used to change the properties of the images inside the control.  
   // Assign the added actions to a mouse button, meaning that when the user clicks and drags the mouse button, the associated action will be activated.  
   _cell.SetAction(MedicalViewerActionType.Offset, MedicalViewerMouseButtons.Right, MedicalViewerActionFlags.Active); 
   _cell.SetAction(MedicalViewerActionType.WindowLevel, MedicalViewerMouseButtons.Left, MedicalViewerActionFlags.Active); 
   _cell.SetAction(MedicalViewerActionType.Stack, MedicalViewerMouseButtons.Wheel, MedicalViewerActionFlags.Active); 
   // Assign the added actions to a keyboard keys that will work like the mouse.  
   MedicalViewerKeys medicalKeys = new MedicalViewerKeys(Keys.Down, Keys.Up, Keys.Left, Keys.Right, MedicalViewerModifiers.None); 
   _cell.SetActionKeys(MedicalViewerActionType.Offset, medicalKeys); 
   medicalKeys.Modifiers = MedicalViewerModifiers.Ctrl; 
   _cell.SetActionKeys(MedicalViewerActionType.WindowLevel, medicalKeys); 

Add the DICOM Tags Code

Modify the previously added code in the loadDICOMToolStripMenuItem_Click event handler to obtain the user data tag information from the loaded dataset.

// Create viewer cell using the loaded images 
if (_cell != null) 
   // Get user data to display as tags on viewer 
   string[] userDataTags = new string[6]; 
   userDataTags[0] = GetDicomTag(dataSet, DicomTag.InstitutionName); 
   userDataTags[1] = GetDicomTag(dataSet, DicomTag.PatientName); 
   userDataTags[2] = GetDicomTag(dataSet, DicomTag.PatientAge); 
   userDataTags[3] = GetDicomTag(dataSet, DicomTag.PatientBirthDate); 
   userDataTags[4] = GetDicomTag(dataSet, DicomTag.PatientSex); 
   userDataTags[5] = GetDicomTag(dataSet, DicomTag.PatientID); 
   // Add the initialized multi-cell 

Add a new method named GetDicomTag, which will be called above to retrieve each dicom tag. Add the code below:

private string GetDicomTag(DicomDataSet ds, long tag) 
   DicomElement element = ds.FindFirstElement(null, tag, true); 
   if (element != null) 
      return ds.GetConvertValue(element); 
   return null; 

Add a new SetTags method which will be called inside the loadDICOMToolStripMenuItem_Click event handler, as shown above. Add the code below to configure the tag information to be shown on the viewer's frames using user-provided data and the properties of the currently displayed frame.

private void SetTags(string[] userDataTags) 
   // Set user data tags 
   _cell.SetTag(2, MedicalViewerTagAlignment.TopRight, MedicalViewerTagType.UserData, userDataTags[0]); 
   _cell.SetTag(3, MedicalViewerTagAlignment.TopRight, MedicalViewerTagType.UserData, userDataTags[1]); 
   _cell.SetTag(4, MedicalViewerTagAlignment.TopRight, MedicalViewerTagType.UserData, userDataTags[2]); 
   _cell.SetTag(5, MedicalViewerTagAlignment.TopRight, MedicalViewerTagType.UserData, userDataTags[3]); 
   _cell.SetTag(6, MedicalViewerTagAlignment.TopRight, MedicalViewerTagType.UserData, userDataTags[4]); 
   _cell.SetTag(7, MedicalViewerTagAlignment.TopRight, MedicalViewerTagType.UserData, userDataTags[5]); 
   // Set other tags 
   _cell.SetTag(6, MedicalViewerTagAlignment.TopLeft, MedicalViewerTagType.Scale); 
   _cell.SetTag(7, MedicalViewerTagAlignment.TopLeft, MedicalViewerTagType.Frame); 
   _cell.SetTag(0, MedicalViewerTagAlignment.BottomLeft, MedicalViewerTagType.RulerUnit); 
   _cell.SetTag(1, MedicalViewerTagAlignment.BottomLeft, MedicalViewerTagType.FieldOfView); 
   _cell.SetTag(2, MedicalViewerTagAlignment.BottomLeft, MedicalViewerTagType.WindowLevelData); 
   _cell.SetTag(4, MedicalViewerTagAlignment.BottomLeft, MedicalViewerTagType.Alpha); 

Run the Project

Run the project by pressing F5, or by selecting Debug -> Start Debugging.

If the steps were followed correctly, the application runs and loads and displays a selected DICOM image in the MedicalViewer control while also displaying the designated tags contained in the DICOM file. The application will also allow controlling the display using mouse and keyboard actions.


This tutorial showed how to add the necessary references to load and display a DICOM image in the MedicalViewer WinForms control. In addition, it showed how to use the MedicalViewerMultiCell object.

See Also

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© 1991-2023 LEAD Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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© 1991-2023 LEAD Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.