Cp-726 Date 2007/08/27 Allow leading spaces in pn vr components Status: Final Text

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CP-726 Date 2007/08/27

Allow leading spaces in PN VR components Status: Final Text

DICOM Correction Item

Correction Number CP-726

Log Summary: Allow leading spaces in PN VR components

Type of Modification


Name of Standard

PS 3.5 - 2006

Rationale for Correction

There is confusion if the components of a Patient Name (PN) Value Type may have leading spaces. Table 6.2-1 in PS 3.5 is only mentioning “the string may be padded with trailing spaces”.

The HL7 definition of the string (ST) data type that is used for the HL7 PN data type prevents leading spaces for each component by specifying the string to be left justified:

String data is left justified with trailing blanks optional. Any displayable (printable) ACSII characters (hexadecimal values between 20 and 7E, inclusive, or ASCII decimal values between 32 and 126), except the defined delimiter characters.

This CP proposes to clarify the difference between HL7 and DICOM. Too many existing DICOM SOP Instances are available that will be not conformant when the HL7 rule is applied.

Sections of documents affected

PS 3.5 Section 6.2 Table 6.2-1

Correction Wording:

Table 6.2-1



Character Repertoire

Length of Value

Person Name

A character string encoded using a 5 component convention. The character code 5CH (the BACKSLASH “\” in ISO-IR 6) shall not be present, as it is used as the delimiter between values in multiple valued data elements. The string may be padded with trailing spaces. For human use, the five components in their order of occurrence are: family name complex, given name complex, middle name, name prefix, name suffix.

Note: HL7 prohibits leading spaces within a component; DICOM allows leading and trailing spaces and considers them insignificant.

Any of the five components may be an empty string. The component delimiter shall be the caret “^” character (5EH). Delimiters are required for interior null components. Trailing null components and their delimiters may be omitted. Multiple entries are permitted in each component and are encoded as natural text strings, in the format preferred by the named person. This conforms to the ANSI HISPP MSDS Person Name common data type.

Default Character Repertoire and/or as defined by (0008,0005) excluding Control Characters LF, FF, and CR but allowing Control Character ESC.

64 chars maximum per component group

(see NOTE in 6.2)

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