Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

This chapter describes how to search the local and any selected remote image databases for images.

Topics in this chapter include:

Performing Searches

TCIA enables you to search for images in the local TCIA in vivo image repository. If available, you can also search remote imaging archives.

TCIA is designed to perform the following tasks:

  • Search for images in simple or advanced search mode
  • Combine search criteria defined in those searches with keyword searches of curated annotation data
  • Save the search queries to be used repeatedly
  • Review query histories

As subjects, studies, series or images are located, save them to your data basket for download.

Downloading series with annotation files

When you download a series that has annotation files (indicated by Yes in the Contains Annotations column), they are automatically downloaded as well.

TCIA submissions are organized in the following hierarchy, which is important to remember in creating your search query and reviewing search results:

Collection > Patient (Subject) > Study > Series > Images

TCIA provides three search modes:

Return to top of page

Performing a Simple Search

A simple search allows you to search for image studies based on a combination of the following search filters: Collection(s), Image Modality(ies), Anatomical Site, Manufacturer Model(s), Available date, Subject IDs, and Baseline Plus. The more criteria you select, the fewer results you receive. After you select your search criteria, you can create a saved query to use later.

To perform a simple search

  • On the TCIA home page, click Simple Search or Search Images > Simple Search.
    The Simple Search page appears.
    Simple Search page
    Choose the search criteria as described in the following table.

    DescriptionSimple Search Criteria
    Results per Page

    Select the number of search results per page the search will return.

    Collection(s)
    Collections are NCI-defined groupings of image data sets. Select from the collections to which you can access. If none are selected, then the search returns data for all collections.

    Click the (?) icon next to the collection name to display a popup with the collection description if it exists.

    Click Collection Descriptions for more information about the collections.

    Image Modality(ies)

    Select from the available image classifications. If none are selected, then the search returns data for all modalities. 

    Specify whether to Return cases that include All or ANY Modality.

    Modality description

    Descriptive text for the modality displays when you hover the cursor over the option.

    The TCIA data portal can perform ultrasound-specific searches. To launch an ultrasound image search, select US in the list of Image Modalities. When you do so, three additional search options display on the page, shown below. Configure the options appropriately for the ultrasound data you want to search.

    Image Modalities when US is selected

    • Number of frames: One ultrasound DICOM file can consist of multiple frames which you can specify in this option.
    • Specify if Ultrasound Color Data is present.
    • Specify one or more Ultrasound Image Modes.

    If you choose to view an ultrasound DICOM file in animation, TCIA loops through all of the images in the file.

    Anatomical SiteTo further restrict the search, optionally choose the anatomical site of interest.
    Manufacturer ModelTo restrict manufacturer model results, uncheck All Manufacturers. Expand and display the list as needed, and select the items to restrict the search.


    Available (mm/dd/yyyy)
    To restrict results to the date the image became available in the system, expand the panel, enter from and to dates and select Add Criteria to perform the search.
    Subject ID
    To restrict results to a comma separated list of patient IDs, expand the panel, enter the list of patient IDs, and select Add Criteria to perform the search.

    Baseline Plus
    Expand the panel and specify the Minimum Number of Additional Studies.

    To clear the search criteria and start over, click reset button.

    The search results appear.

    search results by subject page

    Save the Query

    You can save your search criteria to make it easier to repeat this query in the future. After you have selected one or more search criteria, the Save Query link appears at the bottom left of the page.

    To save a search query
    1. Select search criteria.
    2. In the box above the Save Query link, enter a name for your query.




    3. Click Save Query.
      The query is saved. You can see it by selecting Tools > View Saved Queries.

    For more information, see Managing Saved Queries.

    Navigation Tips

    • Click the down arrow next to a column title to sort the column by that item.
    • Click the arrows at the bottom of the table to display the first, previous, next, or last page of results.
    • Click the page number links to move to a specific page of results.

    The Search Results (Studies for Subject) page shows studies associated with the subject that you selected on the Search Results by Subject page. Each study, identified by Study Instance ID, Description, and Date, is followed by a table with rows for each image series in the study. At the top and bottom of the page, breadcrumbs in the format Search >> Study show the level of the data on the page. Clicking Search in those breadcrumbs returns you to your original search results.

    The following table describes the data available for each study and image series in that study.

    Field

    Description

    DICOM Web Viewer link

    Click this link to see all study images in the DICOM Web Viewer.

    Series

    Series identification number

    Description

    Description of the Series

    Modality

    Image modality

    Manufacturer

    Name of the manufacturer of the image series

    Images

    Displays the number of images in the series. This number includes visible images that meet the search criteria.

    Thumbnails

    Click this link to display thumbnails of the series' images. For more information, see Search Results (Images for Series).

    Cine Mode

    Click cine mode button in a series record to launch an animation of the series. This feature is only available when two or more thumbnails are available for the series. For more information, see Viewing Image Animation.

    DICOM
    Click DICOM button to open a new window that displays DICOM metadata about the first image in the series. 
    Each image series can have multiple images whose thumbnails display in this search results page. While each image has its own DICOM file whose attributes may vary slightly from the others in the series, the DICOM file that opens displays values for only the first image in the series. These values represent the values for all images in the series.

    Add to Basket


     

    • Click add to data basket to select the series and remove from basket to clear it.
    • To mark all series in the search results as records you want to add to your data basket, click the basket icon in the column header or click add found to basket

    For more information, see Managing the Data Basket.

    Add a Study series to Basket
    To mark only the series in the search results of a particular study as records you want to add to your data basket, click the basket icon in that study's column header

Return to top of page

Performing a Text Search

A text search allows for searching of many of the database text fields, DICOM image tag data, and annotation files that are not available in the normal Simple and Advanced searches. For example, you can find all patients associated with the term glioma, as shown below.

To perform a text search

  1. On the TCIA home page, click Text Search or Search Images > Text Search.
    The Text Search page appears.

    empty text search fields

  2. Select the number of search results per page the search will return.
  3. In the box at the top of the page, enter a text string.
    Use Lucene conventions for wildcards. Do not use colons as TCIA automatically filters them from the criteria. Lucene designates colons as fields. Since the text search searches all fields, colons are not necessary.
  4. Click Submit.
    The search results appear.
    search results from search term of brain

    Navigation Tips

    • Click the down arrow next to a column title to sort the column by that item.
    • Click the arrows at the bottom of the table to display the first, previous, next, or last page of results.
    • Click the page number links to move to a specific page of results.

    The following table describes each item in the search results table.

    Search ResultDescription
    Collection IDCollection identifier
    Subject ID

    Click the Subject ID to view all study images for this subject in a DICOM web viewer, a single series' thumbnails, or the DICOM header for the first image in the series. See Search Results (Studies for Subject).

    Hit

    The field in the study where the text string you entered as your search criteria appears

    Total StudiesTotal number of studies for the subject
    Total SeriesTotal number of image series for the subject
    basket

    Add the images for a single series or the entire study to your data basket. When you have marked a record for addition to the data basket, it is highlighted in yellow.

    • Click add to data basket to select the record and remove from basket to clear it.
    • To mark all records in the search results as records you want to add to your data basket, click the basket icon in the column header or click add found to basket.

    For more information, see Managing the Data Basket.

Return to top of page

Performing an Advanced Search

An advanced search allows you to search against multiple combinations of values within Collections, Patient, Study,  Series, or Image objects. You can build search criteria based on data values or ranges at the image series level.

To perform an advanced search

  1. On the TCIA home page, click Advanced Search or Search Images > Advanced Search.
    The Advanced Search page appears.

    Advanced Search criteria
  2. Select the number of search results per page the search will return.
  3. From the Match options, select ALL to find image series that meet all of your search criteria or select ANY Criteria to find image series that meet any of your search criteria.
  4. From the first Criteria list, select a TCIA entity. Your selection here determines the options available for the rest of the search criteria.
  5. Select options from the lists or enter text into the box as needed to perform your search. If you enter text into the box, click the Add icon (plus sign button) for each set of criteria you define.
    As soon as you specify the final criterion, the criteria you selected appear in the box below the criteria and the search results appear to the right.

    Modality searches

    Modality searches only support the CT and MR modalities.

     

    advanced search results page

    Navigation Tips

    • Click the down arrow next to a column title to sort the column by that item.
    • Click the arrows at the bottom of the table to display the first, previous, next, or last page of results.
    • Click the page number links to move to a specific page of results.

    The following table describes each item in the search results table.

    Search ResultDescription
    Collection IDCollection identifier
    Subject ID

    Click the Subject ID to view all study images for this subject in a DICOM web viewer, a single series' thumbnails, or the DICOM header for the first image in the series. See Search Results (Studies for Subject).

    Matched Studies

    Total number of studies for this subject that match the search criteria

    Total StudiesTotal number of studies for the subject
    Matched SeriesTotal number of image series for the subject that match the search criteria
    Total SeriesTotal number of image series for the subject
    basket

    Add the images for a single series or the entire study to your data basket. When you have marked a record for addition to the data basket, it is highlighted in yellow.

    • Click add to data basket to select the record and remove from data basket to clear it.
    • To mark all records in the search results as records you want to add to your data basket, click the basket icon in the column header or click add found to basket.

    For more information, see Managing the Data Basket.

  6. To further refine your results, select new search criteria. These new criteria filter your existing results and as with the previous search, the criteria you selected appear in a box below the criteria. Click the close button to delete the record from the page or click reset button  to delete all criteria and start over.

Return to top of page

Working with Saved Queries

While performing a Simple Search, you can save your choice of Collection(s), Image Modality(ies), and Anatomical Site as a named query. You can then run that query in the future or edit it, if you want to change any of the search criteria. That edited query can either update your original query or become a new query with a new name.

The following procedures are associated with saved search queries.

Return to top of page

Creating Saved Queries

To save a search query
  1. Select search criteria.
  2. In the box above the Save Query link, enter a name for your query.




  3. Click Save Query.
    The query is saved. You can see it by selecting Tools > View Saved Queries.

Return to top of page

Viewing and Editing Saved Queries

You can view your saved queries and then edit and resubmit them. You can also view your query history.

Disallowed Collections and Saved Queries

If you save a query when you have access to a collection then subsequently lose that access, you do not lose the saved query. However, records from a disallowed collection are not included in the search results.

To view, edit, and resubmit saved queries

  • Select Tools > View Saved Queries.
    The Saved Queries page appears.

    Saved Queries page

    The query table is sorted in descending order by Last Executed date by default. You can also sort by Query Name by clicking on the down arrow next to the column title.

    The following table describes the information about your saved queries on this page.

Saved Query

Description

Query Name

The name of the query displays as a link. The default is that the criteria themselves do not display. The link toggles whether the criteria for the saved query displays. Click the link to display/not display the criteria selected for the query.

Last Executed

The most recent date and time you executed the query displays. The time is displayed for the Eastern Time (US and Canada) time zone.

New Data Available

An icon (New data available icon) appears if new data is available for the saved query. Click the icon to display the results (new data only) on the Search Results page.

Resubmit Query

Click this button to open the Simple Search page showing all available results of the currently saved search criteria. A message appears in the lower left corner identifying the source of the search results.

message says these are the results of the CR saved query

Edit Query

Click this button to open the Simple Search page with the currently saved search criteria selected. In the lower left corner of the page, the Save Query section provides the options to update the saved query with new criteria or to save these criteria as a new saved query, with a box for the new query name.

Select an option and click Save Query.

edit query section of Simple Search page

Check Box

Click the check box to mark the query for deletion. You can click the check box in the header to select all queries or you can select queries individually. Click Remove Selected Items. The Manage Saved Queries page displays a message indicating success or failure and any additional actions that are required.

You can also perform the following action on the Saved Queries page.

ActionDescription
View Query HistoryClick the Query History tab. The View Query History page appears. For more information, see Viewing Query History.

Return to top of page

Viewing Query History

To view query history
  • Select Tools > View Query History link
    or
    Click the Query History tab from the Saved Queries page.
    The Query History page appears. The Query History page displays a table of the last twenty queries that you executed. These include saved queries that you resubmitted as well as queries you have not saved.
    query history page

The Query History page contains the following information:

Field Name

Description

Query Name

The name of the query displays as a link. The link toggles whether the criteria for the executed query is displayed. The text of the link can appear three different ways depending on the situation.

  • If the query was not saved, No Name Provided displays as the link.
  • If the query is a saved query that has not been edited since the last execution date, the name of the saved query is displayed.
  • If the query is a saved query that has been edited since the last execution date, the name of the saved query is displayed with an asterisk. The asterisk refers to a message at the bottom of the page which is a warning to you that the results are based on the criteria that were used at the time the query was run, not the criteria that is currently saved for the query.

Last Executed

The date and time that you executed the query. The time is displayed for the Eastern Time (US & Canada) time zone.

Resubmit Query

Click the Resubmit Query button to submit the query using the saved criteria. The results display on the Search Results page.

Click the Saved Queries tab to view, edit, or resubmit saved queries (see Managing Saved Queries).

Return to top of page

  • No labels