Stone of Orthanc

Lightweight, cross-platform C++ toolkit for the rendering of medical images.



Stone of Orthanc is a lightweight, cross-platform C++ toolkit for the rendering of medical images. It notably features support for MPR (multiplanar reconstruction of volume images), PET-CT fusion, and accurate physical world coordinates. Stone of Orthanc is not a fully-featured DICOM viewer, but rather a building block to create such applications, such as the Stone Web viewer.


Stone of Orthanc is similar in spirit to two other well-known toolkits:

  • Cornerstone by Chris Hafey, a client-side JavaScript toolkit to display medical images in Web browsers. However, contrarily to Cornerstone, Stone of Orthanc is written in C++, and can be embedded into traditional native or mobile applications.
  • VTK by Kitware, a C++ toolkit for scientific visualization. However, contrarily to VTK, Stone of Orthanc can also be used in Web applications thanks to its built-in support of WebAssembly.

Stone of Orthanc takes advantage of the GPU for the hardware-accelerated rendering of 2D scenes. The handling of 3D volumes (MPR, reslicing...) is done entirely in the CPU, which provides a simpler architecture and maximum compatibility with various manufacturers. Furthermore, Stone of Orthanc comes bundled with its own software-based rendering engine (based upon cairo). This makes Stone a highly versatile framework that can run even on low-performance platforms without GPU, or for server-side streaming.


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