Mango – A Free CT Scan / DICOM Viewer for Windows

My hope with this post is teach people how to view their CT scans with Mango, a free tool used by doctors. My research initially turned up OsiriX, software that can also do 3D renderings but it’s limited to those with a Mac. For the rest of us Mango is the best bet.

I recently blew out a tendon in my ankle and the doctor sent me to a medical imaging specialist. They stuck me in the high tech bagel dog and an hour later I left with a CD and an unhealthy dose of curiosity. The following guide will walk(limp) you through the process of getting the images viewable on a computer.

Download and install Mango. Make sure you get the 64 bit version and enable 64 bit support in the performance options if your OS supports it.
Open DICOM folder
Choose the location of the files.
If more than one series of images are displayed you’ll see them here.
Click Open
At this point you’ll be able to navigate through the image in 2d.

Here is my foot in 2d. You can zoom through the slices in Mango to get a look at pretty much any part you want.

To render and view it in 3D click:
Image, build surface
Click Options
Check use range
Unless you have a really fast computer and/or a lot of time use a small range like 550 to 600
Depending on your computer this might take a few minutes.
Play with the ranges to hilight the various types of tissue. This will depend on your specific images but bone was in the 300 to 700 range on my scans.

This is my foot rendered in 3d with the range set to show all tissue.

And here’s my foot rendered with the range adjusted so you can see bone, tendons, etc.

Apparently I got a pretty bad scan so your results may be better. I’ve only scratched the surface, this the result after 3 hours of tinkering. Most of the guides for Mango are geared towards doctors so hopefully this guide makes CT scans a bit more accessible.

If the developers enable CUDA or OpenCL support on this software it will be a beast. A full screen view that can output to 3D TVs / monitors would be nice.

One thought on “Mango – A Free CT Scan / DICOM Viewer for Windows

  1. Greg R Perry

    Awesome, and it works on Liunux, too! Where are my old PET scan files? I haven’t checked in for a while (damn Bloglines transfer, lost half my feeds), and now you’ve got a cherry prize for me!

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