Connecting XNAT to DICOM Scanners and PACS

XNAT includes an integrated DICOM C-STORE Service Class Provider (SCP). What does that mean?  

C-STORE is a protocol by which DICOM data objects are sent from one application (the Service Class User, or SCU) to another (the Service Class Provider, or SCP) to be stored. The XNAT C-STORE SCP not only stores DICOM objects, but also translates DICOM metadata into an XNAT session document.  The XNAT DICOM C-STORE SCP can receive data from any DICOM C-STORE SCU, including scanners or DICOM viewers such as OsiriX or DicomBrowser.

Any DICOM service is a transaction between two applications: an SCU that initiates the request and an SCP that responds. Each application is identified by the IP address of its host, the TCP port number used for the connection, and a DICOM Application Entity (AE) title, a string that names the application.

The XNAT DICOM C-STORE SCP supports multiple AEs per XNAT. Each AE has its own AE title and its own rules for determining the project, subject, and session of received objects. Multiple AEs can be used in a variety of ways to make it easier to route incoming data to the correct project. More advanced manipulation of C-STORE SCP receivers can be accomplished through the XNAT DICOM SCP management API.

Configuring A New Connection

Configuring a new DICOM SCP receiver is simple. When logged in as a site administrator, go to Administer-> Site Administration-> DICOM SCP Receivers and then click New DICOM SCP Receiver. You should then see the modal below:
The "Custom Processing" setting allows the SCP receiver to make use of the archive processor framework (see Adding Custom Image Import Processors). The "Direct Archive" switchbox (since XNAT 1.8.3) allows the receiver to process data more efficiently under common scenarios (see Using Direct-to-Archive Uploading).

After you enter the AE Title and the Port for the DICOM SCP receiver you wish to add and click Save, the receiver will be added. It will start out enabled and will be ready to use immediately.

Selecting DICOM Object Identifiers

If your XNAT has one or more DICOM Object Identifiers added via plugin, you will see a selector in this setup UI to choose which object identifier will be used for this SCP receiver definition.

Enabling or Disabling Connections

You can then modify your existing SCP Receivers whenever you want. If you click the AE Title or Edit button for a receiver, a modal just like the one above will open and let you change the AE Title or Port. Upon saving your changes will take effect. If you wish to disable a receiver, click the switch box for that provider (the one in the Enabled column). The switch box will then go from green to gray and you will no longer be able to receive data with that receiver until you enable it again by clicking the switch box.

If you want to not merely disable a receiver but completely delete it, you can click on the delete button next to the receiver you want to delete.