The paper explores the level of information contained within the DICOM header in images from various cardiology systems. Data were obtained in the European DIMOND survey on image quality (Italy, Ireland, Belgium, Greece and Spain). Images from five standard diagnostic cardiology procedures carried out in six European hospitals have been analysed. DICOM header information was extracted to a database in order to analyse how it could help in the optimisation of the procedures. The level of data contained in the headers differs widely between cardiology systems. None of the X-ray systems in the 2002 survey archives the dosimetric data in the DICOM header. The mean number of runs per procedure ranges between 7.5 and 15.4 and the mean number of frames per procedure between 575 and 1417. Differences in kVp, mA, pulse time, distances and C-arm angulations are substantial and suggest that there exists a wide range for optimisation.