Magnetic Resonance Brain Imaging
Modeling and Data Analysis Using R

Chapter: Medical Imaging Data Formats

There exists a large variety of data formats used in medical imaging in general and specifically for functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, diffusion weighted imaging or Multi-Parameter Mapping. Medical imaging data typically contains the actual data and additionally some metadata. This may be the data dimensionality, the spatial extension of the imaged voxel, but also physical parameters of the image acquisition, or patient data. The way this is stored in the different data formats differs. Here, we discuss DICOM, ANALYZE, and NIfTI formats as they are widely used for storing medical imaging data or analysis results that are interchangeable between different analysis software. We demonstrate how these data can be easily accessed from within R. This is amended with a short discussion of the Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS) standard.