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Central Test Node Software


The Central Test Node (CTN) software is a DICOM implementation which was designed to be used at the RSNA annual meetings to foster cooperative demonstrations by the medical imaging vendors. The goal was to provide a centralized implementation that facilitated vendor participation based on the evolving DICOM standard.

The design is described in Moore, S.M., Hoffman, S.A., Beecher, D.E., "DICOM Shareware: A Public Implementation of the DICOM Standard," in Medical Imaging 1994-PACS: Design and Evaluation, R. Gilbert Jost, Editor, Proc SPIE 2165, pp. 772-781 (1994).

In short, the software contains three sections:

  • A set of libraries that implement parts of the DICOM Standard.
  • Demonstration applications that are designed specifically for the RSNA demonstrations.
  • Test applications for exercising our implementation and other implementations.

The software has been upgraded since the description in the 1994 paper to include:

  • A more robust database interface that communicates with PostgreSQL, SQL Server, Sybase or MySQL
  • A more robust image server that uses the new database interface.
  • More directed imaging management demonstration programs that are targeted to specific applications.


The full description of the capabilities of the demonstration and test programs is found with the CTN documentation.


Version 3.0.6 of the software is available on our FTP server (ftp://ftp.erl.wustl.edu/pub/dicom/software/ctn) The CTN software is also embedded within the MESA tools. The version of CTN software in those tools does not have a separate release number but is more current than version 3.0.6.


The software is written in ANSI C and has been compiled and tested in our laboratory on the following platforms:

  • Sun Solaris 9
  • Red Hat Linux 7, 8, 9
  • Windows NT 4.0, 2000, XP

Beginning with Version 2.8.1, we also compiled and performed some limited testing under Irix. We know that some groups have compiled the code under HPUX. We have not tracked those modifications, nor do we have references to the people that have done that work (sorry). Likewise, there is no port available for MacOS.