MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) is group of lossy digital audio and video compression standards developed by the ISO working group of the same name. While the data loss in MPEG-encoded images is generally not visually apparent, it should be noted that the DICOM standard takes no stand on whether or not the lossy compression is clinically acceptable.

MPEG compression can be very efficient because it only encodes the differences between one frame and the next, rather than the entire frame. This make MPEG compression useful for cine clips especially ultrasound, assuming that there are not many changes from frame to frame. However, because generation of each frame in a cycle requires the information from the previous frame, MPEG compression is less effective for some applications such as cardiology.

MPEG is a standardized transfer syntax for DICOM images, and is typically used by endoscopy, laparoscopy or other Visible Light (VL) modalities. Support for MPEG2 is available in the standard, and support for higher spatial resolution quality, called Main Profile / High Level ( MPEG2 MP@HL) was added in early 2009.


  • Standards


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SOP Class

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