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getscu - DICOM retrieve (C-GET) SCU


getscu [options] peer port [dcmfile-in...]


The getscu application implements an SCU for the Query/Retrieve Service Class. getscu
supports retrieve functionality using the C-GET message. It sends query keys to an SCP and
waits for responses with images or other DICOM objects sent via C-STORE. As the DICOM
service demands, C-GET and the accompanying C-STORE messages are handled on the same
association. Therefore, objects can only be received by getscu itself and cannot be sent
to a third party (movescu would be the right tool for this task).


peer hostname of DICOM peer

port tcp/ip port number of peer

dcmfile-in DICOM query file(s)


general options
-h --help
print this help text and exit

print version information and exit

print expanded command line arguments

-q --quiet
quiet mode, print no warnings and errors

-v --verbose
verbose mode, print processing details

-d --debug
debug mode, print debug information

-ll --log-level [l]evel: string constant
(fatal, error, warn, info, debug, trace)
use level l for the logger

-lc --log-config [f]ilename: string
use config file f for the logger

+v --verbose-pc
show presentation contexts in verbose mode

network options
override matching keys:

-k --key [k]ey: gggg,eeee="str", path or dictionary name="str"
override matching key

query information model:

-P --patient
use patient root information model (default)

-S --study
use study root information model

-O --psonly
use patient/study only information model

application entity titles:

-aet --aetitle [a]etitle: string
set my calling AE title (default: GETSCU)

-aec --call [a]etitle: string
set called AE title of peer (default: ANY-SCP)

preferred storage transfer syntaxes (incoming associations):

+x= --prefer-uncompr
prefer explicit VR local byte order (default)

+xe --prefer-little
prefer explicit VR little endian TS

+xb --prefer-big
prefer explicit VR big endian TS

+xs --prefer-lossless
prefer default JPEG lossless TS

+xy --prefer-jpeg8
prefer default JPEG lossy TS for 8 bit data

+xx --prefer-jpeg12
prefer default JPEG lossy TS for 12 bit data

+xv --prefer-j2k-lossless
prefer JPEG 2000 lossless TS

+xw --prefer-j2k-lossy
prefer JPEG 2000 lossy TS

+xt --prefer-jls-lossless
prefer JPEG-LS lossless TS

+xu --prefer-jls-lossy
prefer JPEG-LS lossy TS

+xm --prefer-mpeg2
prefer MPEG2 Main Profile @ Main Level TS

+xh --prefer-mpeg2-high
prefer MPEG2 Main Profile @ High Level TS

+xn --prefer-mpeg4
prefer MPEG4 AVC/H.264 HP / Level 4.1 TS

+xl --prefer-mpeg4-bd
prefer MPEG4 AVC/H.264 BD-compatible TS

+xr --prefer-rle
prefer RLE lossless TS

+xd --prefer-deflated
prefer deflated explicit VR little endian TS

+xi --implicit
accept implicit VR little endian TS only

proposed retrieve transfer syntaxes (outgoing associations):

-x= --propose-uncompr
propose all uncompressed TS, explicit VR
with local byte ordering first (default)

-xe --propose-little
propose all uncompressed TS, explicit VR little endian first

-xb --propose-big
propose all uncompressed TS, explicit VR big endian first

-xd --propose-deflated
propose deflated explicit VR little endian TS
and all uncompressed transfer syntaxes

-xi --propose-implicit
propose implicit VR little endian TS only

other network options:

-to --timeout [s]econds: integer (default: unlimited)
timeout for connection requests

-ta --acse-timeout [s]econds: integer (default: 30)
timeout for ACSE messages

-td --dimse-timeout [s]econds: integer (default: unlimited)
timeout for DIMSE messages

-pdu --max-pdu [n]umber of bytes: integer (4096..131072)
set max receive pdu to n bytes (default: 16384)

--repeat [n]umber: integer
repeat n times

abort association instead of releasing it

output options

-od --output-directory [d]irectory: string (default: ".")
write received objects to existing directory d

storage mode:

-B --normal
receive in memory, then write to disk (default)

+B --bit-preserving
receive directly to disk

ignore store data, receive but do not store


Each file supplied on the command line will be sent to the SCP as part of a C-GET request.
The query file must be a valid DICOM data set containing the dataset part of a C-GET-RQ
message. The query file could, for instance, be created with the dump2dcm utility from a
script like the following example:

# request all images for the patient with ID=PAT001
(0008,0052) CS [PATIENT] # QueryRetrieveLevel
(0010,0020) LO [PAT001] # PatientID

Another possibility is to use the dcmodify tool to create a file from scratch using the
option --create-file with successive calls to the --insert option. Individual attributes
can be modified or supplemented using the -k (or --key) option. For example the command:

getscu -k "0010,0020=PAT002" caesar 5678 patqry.dcm

will, when sent to the SCP caesar at TCP/IP port 5678, cause any PatientID attribute in
patqry.dcm to have the value 'PAT002'. If such an attribute is present it will be
replaced, if absent it will be inserted. The -k option can be present more than once. The
value part (after the '=') may be absent causing the attribute to be sent with zero
length. It is also possible to specify sequences, items and nested attributes using the -k
option. In these cases, a special 'path' notation has to be used. Details can be found in
the dcmodify documentation.

If no file is specified on the command line, the query must be specified completely with
one or more -k options. If multiple query files are provided, getscu will send multiple C-
GET requests to the SCP.

Known Problems
getscu is intended to be used as a testing tool for DICOM software developers. The query
keys file must be created by hand based upon the contents of the SCP.

C-GET is not supported by all Query/Retrieve SCPs. The C-MOVE protocol which is
implemented by the movescu tool is more commonly found in practice.

The getscu application makes no attempt to prevent incorrect queries. In particular, the
query keys of a C-MOVE request should only contain the QueryRetrieveLevel attribute and
one or more of the so-called 'unique key attributes' (PatientID, StudyInstanceUID,
SeriesInstanceUID and SOPInstanceUID).

DICOM Conformance
SCU Conformance
The getscu application supports the following SOP Classes as an SCU:

GETPatientRootQueryRetrieveInformationModel 1.2.840.10008.
GETStudyRootQueryRetrieveInformationModel 1.2.840.10008.
GETPatientStudyOnlyQueryRetrieveInformationModel 1.2.840.10008.

The getscu application will propose presentation contexts for one of the abovementioned
supported SOP Classes depending on command line options (-P, -S, or -O). For outgoing
associations, the following transfer syntaxes are supported:

LittleEndianImplicitTransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.1.2
LittleEndianExplicitTransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.1.2.1
DeflatedExplicitVRLittleEndianTransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008. (*)
BigEndianExplicitTransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.1.2.2

(*) if compiled with zlib support enabled (see --version output)

Which transfer syntaxes are actually proposed in what order, can be specified with the
--propose options.

Storage Conformance
The getscu application supports the following SOP Classes as an SCP:

VerificationSOPClass 1.2.840.10008.1.1

RETIRED_StoredPrintStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_HardcopyGrayscaleImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_HardcopyColorImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
ComputedRadiographyImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
DigitalXRayImageStorageForPresentation 1.2.840.10008.
DigitalXRayImageStorageForProcessing 1.2.840.10008.
DigitalMammographyXRayImageStorageForPresentation 1.2.840.10008.
DigitalMammographyXRayImageStorageForProcessing 1.2.840.10008.
DigitalIntraOralXRayImageStorageForPresentation 1.2.840.10008.
DigitalIntraOralXRayImageStorageForProcessing 1.2.840.10008.
CTImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
EnhancedCTImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_UltrasoundMultiframeImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
UltrasoundMultiframeImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
MRImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
EnhancedMRImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
MRSpectroscopyStorage 1.2.840.10008.
EnhancedMRColorImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_NuclearMedicineImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_UltrasoundImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
UltrasoundImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
EnhancedUSVolumeStorage 1.2.840.10008.
SecondaryCaptureImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
MultiframeSingleBitSecondaryCaptureImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
MultiframeGrayscaleByteSecondaryCaptureImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
MultiframeGrayscaleWordSecondaryCaptureImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
MultiframeTrueColorSecondaryCaptureImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_StandaloneOverlayStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_StandaloneCurveStorage 1.2.840.10008.
TwelveLeadECGWaveformStorage 1.2.840.10008.
GeneralECGWaveformStorage 1.2.840.10008.
AmbulatoryECGWaveformStorage 1.2.840.10008.
HemodynamicWaveformStorage 1.2.840.10008.
CardiacElectrophysiologyWaveformStorage 1.2.840.10008.
BasicVoiceAudioWaveformStorage 1.2.840.10008.
GeneralAudioWaveformStorage 1.2.840.10008.
ArterialPulseWaveformStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RespiratoryWaveformStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_StandaloneModalityLUTStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_StandaloneVOILUTStorage 1.2.840.10008.
GrayscaleSoftcopyPresentationStateStorage 1.2.840.10008.
ColorSoftcopyPresentationStateStorage 1.2.840.10008.
PseudoColorSoftcopyPresentationStateStorage 1.2.840.10008.
BlendingSoftcopyPresentationStateStorage 1.2.840.10008.
XAXRFGrayscaleSoftcopyPresentationStateStorage 1.2.840.10008.
XRayAngiographicImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
EnhancedXAImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
XRayRadiofluoroscopicImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
EnhancedXRFImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_XRayAngiographicBiPlaneImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
XRay3DAngiographicImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
XRay3DCraniofacialImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
BreastTomosynthesisImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
IntravascularOpt.Coh.Tom.ImageStorageForPresentation 1.2.840.10008.
IntravascularOpt.Coh.Tom.ImageStorageForProcessing 1.2.840.10008.
NuclearMedicineImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RawDataStorage 1.2.840.10008.
SpatialRegistrationStorage 1.2.840.10008.
SpatialFiducialsStorage 1.2.840.10008.
DeformableSpatialRegistrationStorage 1.2.840.10008.
SegmentationStorage 1.2.840.10008.
SurfaceSegmentationStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RealWorldValueMappingStorage 1.2.840.10008.
SurfaceScanMeshStorage 1.2.840.10008.
SurfaceScanPointCloudStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_VLImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
VLEndoscopicImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
VideoEndoscopicImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
VLMicroscopicImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
VideoMicroscopicImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
VLSlideCoordinatesMicroscopicImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
VLPhotographicImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
VideoPhotographicImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
OphthalmicPhotography8BitImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
OphthalmicPhotography16BitImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
StereometricRelationshipStorage 1.2.840.10008.
OphthalmicTomographyImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
VLWholeSlideMicroscopyImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_VLMultiFrameImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
LensometryMeasurementsStorage 1.2.840.10008.
AutorefractionMeasurementsStorage 1.2.840.10008.
KeratometryMeasurementsStorage 1.2.840.10008.
SubjectiveRefractionMeasurementsStorage 1.2.840.10008.
VisualAcuityMeasurementsStorage 1.2.840.10008.
SpectaclePrescriptionReportStorage 1.2.840.10008.
OphthalmicAxialMeasurementsStorage 1.2.840.10008.
IntraocularLensCalculationsStorage 1.2.840.10008.
MacularGridThicknessAndVolumeReportStorage 1.2.840.10008.
OphthalmicVisualFieldStaticPerimetryMeasurementsSt. 1.2.840.10008.
OphthalmicThicknessMapStorage 1.2.840.10008.
BasicTextSRStorage 1.2.840.10008.
EnhancedSRStorage 1.2.840.10008.
ComprehensiveSRStorage 1.2.840.10008.
Comprehensive3DSRStorage 1.2.840.10008.
ProcedureLogStorage 1.2.840.10008.
MammographyCADSRStorage 1.2.840.10008.
KeyObjectSelectionDocumentStorage 1.2.840.10008.
ChestCADSRStorage 1.2.840.10008.
XRayRadiationDoseSRStorage 1.2.840.10008.
ColonCADSRStorage 1.2.840.10008.
ImplantationPlanSRDocumentStorage 1.2.840.10008.
EncapsulatedPDFStorage 1.2.840.10008.
EncapsulatedCDAStorage 1.2.840.10008.
PositronEmissionTomographyImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_StandalonePETCurveStorage 1.2.840.10008.
EnhancedPETImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
BasicStructuredDisplayStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RTImageStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RTDoseStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RTStructureSetStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RTBeamsTreatmentRecordStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RTPlanStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RTBrachyTreatmentRecordStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RTTreatmentSummaryRecordStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RTIonPlanStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RTIonBeamsTreatmentRecordStorage 1.2.840.10008.
RTBeamsDeliveryInstructionStorage 1.2.840.10008.
GenericImplantTemplateStorage 1.2.840.10008.
ImplantAssemblyTemplateStorage 1.2.840.10008.
ImplantTemplateGroupStorage 1.2.840.10008.

The getscu application will usually accept presentation contexts for all of the
abovementioned supported SOP Classes using any of the following transfer syntaxes:

LittleEndianImplicitTransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.1.2
LittleEndianExplicitTransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.1.2.1
BigEndianExplicitTransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.1.2.2

When acting as a storage SCP, the getscu application will prefer transfer syntaxes having
an explicit encoding over the default implicit transfer syntax. If getscu is running on
big-endian hardware it will prefer BigEndianExplicit to LittleEndianExplicit transfer
syntax (and vice versa). This behavior can be changed with the --prefer options (see
above). Depending on the --prefer option actually used, a combination of the following
transfer syntaxes is supported:

LittleEndianImplicitTransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.1.2
LittleEndianExplicitTransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.1.2.1
DeflatedExplicitVRLittleEndianTransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008. (*)
BigEndianExplicitTransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.1.2.2
JPEGProcess1TransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.
JPEGProcess2_4TransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.
JPEGProcess14SV1TransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.
JPEGLSLosslessTransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.
JPEGLSLossyTransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.
JPEG2000LosslessOnlyTransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.
JPEG2000TransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.
MPEG2MainProfileAtMainLevelTransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.
MPEG2MainProfileAtHighLevelTransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.
MPEG4HighProfileLevel4_1TransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.
MPEG4BDcompatibleHighProfileLevel4_1TransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.
RLELosslessTransferSyntax 1.2.840.10008.1.2.5

(*) if compiled with zlib support enabled (see --version output)

The getscu application does not support extended negotiation.


getscu --patient --call ARCHIVE caesar 104 q.dcm

sends the attributes contained in the DICOM file 'q.dcm' as part of a C-GET request to
application entity ARCHIVE on the host caesar at port 104 using the Patient Root query
model. getscu itself uses the default AE title GETSCU.

In contrast to C-MOVE-based Query/Retrieve SOP Classes, the C-GET-based SOP Classes
utilized by getscu only permit retrieving the desired objects on the same connection, i.e.
getscu will receive the objects itself. Thus, it is not possible to tell the SCP to
transmit the objects to a third party. This is a limitation of the DICOM protocol and not
of the getscu tool.


The level of logging output of the various command line tools and underlying libraries can
be specified by the user. By default, only errors and warnings are written to the standard
error stream. Using option --verbose also informational messages like processing details
are reported. Option --debug can be used to get more details on the internal activity,
e.g. for debugging purposes. Other logging levels can be selected using option --log-
level. In --quiet mode only fatal errors are reported. In such very severe error events,
the application will usually terminate. For more details on the different logging levels,
see documentation of module 'oflog'.

In case the logging output should be written to file (optionally with logfile rotation),
to syslog (Unix) or the event log (Windows) option --log-config can be used. This
configuration file also allows for directing only certain messages to a particular output
stream and for filtering certain messages based on the module or application where they
are generated. An example configuration file is provided in <etcdir>/logger.cfg.


All command line tools use the following notation for parameters: square brackets enclose
optional values (0-1), three trailing dots indicate that multiple values are allowed
(1-n), a combination of both means 0 to n values.

Command line options are distinguished from parameters by a leading '+' or '-' sign,
respectively. Usually, order and position of command line options are arbitrary (i.e. they
can appear anywhere). However, if options are mutually exclusive the rightmost appearance
is used. This behavior conforms to the standard evaluation rules of common Unix shells.

In addition, one or more command files can be specified using an '@' sign as a prefix to
the filename (e.g. @command.txt). Such a command argument is replaced by the content of
the corresponding text file (multiple whitespaces are treated as a single separator unless
they appear between two quotation marks) prior to any further evaluation. Please note that
a command file cannot contain another command file. This simple but effective approach
allows one to summarize common combinations of options/parameters and avoids longish and
confusing command lines (an example is provided in file <datadir>/dumppat.txt).


The getscu utility will attempt to load DICOM data dictionaries specified in the
DCMDICTPATH environment variable. By default, i.e. if the DCMDICTPATH environment variable
is not set, the file <datadir>/dicom.dic will be loaded unless the dictionary is built
into the application (default for Windows).

The default behavior should be preferred and the DCMDICTPATH environment variable only
used when alternative data dictionaries are required. The DCMDICTPATH environment variable
has the same format as the Unix shell PATH variable in that a colon (':') separates
entries. On Windows systems, a semicolon (';') is used as a separator. The data dictionary
code will attempt to load each file specified in the DCMDICTPATH environment variable. It
is an error if no data dictionary can be loaded.

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