When you download images you have added to your cart, TCIA provides a list of these images in a manifest file (manifest-xxx.tcia). You must have already installed the NBIA Data Retriever to open this manifest file and download the images. 

This page should never include an NBIA Data Retriever version. It is called from Frequently Asked Questions among other pages.

To download images using the NBIA Data Retriever

  1. Search for images of interest.
  2. Add those images to your cart.
  3. Click the cart icon in the top-right of the page Cart icon.
    The cart contents appear.
    Cart contents showing three image series ready to be downloaded
  4. Click Download button.
    A message appears reminding you to download the NBIA Data Retriever. If you have already downloaded it, click Do not show this message again and click Download button. Otherwise, click Get Data Retriever button to go to a page with links for downloads for each operating system.
    Message box prompting you to download the Data Retriever
  5. Open the manifest-xxx.tcia file.
    The  NBIA Data Retriever appears, with the items you added to your cart in the Downloads table. See the note about the file naming system that appears in the manifest file.
    NBIA Data Retriever in the process of downloading data
    The NBIA Data Retriever lists all items you selected in the cart. You can hover your mouse over the Patient ID, Study Instance, and Series Instance columns to reveal the complete corresponding IDs. You can also resize a column by selecting and dragging the column border.

    If you do not want to download any of those items, select them in the Downloads table and then click Delete. When you remove an item from the Downloads table, it stays in your cart. 

    The file naming system used by the NBIA Data Retriever has been revised to provide a more natural ordering of the files within each series. This has been accomplished by first ordering the DICOM files by ordinal position of acquisition number and then by ordinal position of instance number.  The files are then assigned numbers with the lowest acquisition being 1 and the lowest instance number within that acquisition being 1, separated by a dash.  The numbers are incremented by 1 as the next values are encountered.  All values are left-padded with zeros to provide for the ordering within the file system. 

    As an example, a series with 2 acquisition numbers with each acquisition having 42 instance numbers would start with 1-01.dcm for the lowest acquisition number and the lowest instance number in that acquisition.  The last file in that acquisition would be 1-42.dcm.  Then the second acquisition would start with 2-01.dcm, ending with 2-42.dcm, in that acquisition.  For the purposes of ordering, an empty value in either acquisition number or instance number is lower than an file having a value for those number.

  6. Click Browse to navigate to the destination where you want the images/annotations to be downloaded.

  7. Click Start to begin the download. You can monitor the download in the Progress column. The Status column indicates when the download for each item is complete.

    At any point in the process, you can click the Pause and Resume buttons to temporarily stop and restart the process.

    Note that files downloaded this way are not compressed. The downloaded files are stored in a child folder under the destination folder such as Collection Name > Patient ID > part of Study Date + part of Study ID + part of Study Description + last 5 digits of Study Instance UID > part of Series Number + part of Series Description + last 5 digits of Series Instance UID.

    If network errors occur during large downloads, the NBIA Data Retriever retries downloading the series in the manifest file the number of times that your administrator has configured. The default is four times.

    After the automatic retries, you have the option of saving an error report, which you can share with the TCIA help desk, or of retrying just the failed series.

    NBIA Data Retriever download in progress with errors