Develop multicentric imaging outcome measures

Working Group Leader – Pierre Carlier

The most important reason why quantitative muscle MRI and MRS is currently not applied routinely across trial sites in multicentric studies is because of the lack of standardized and validated MR protocols for both data acquisition and data analysis. Trial participants therefore either need to all travel to a single centre or there is a risk that data is not comparable across centres. Protocols may need to be tailored for specific diseases. There is also a global lack of young researchers, (MR physicists and radiographers) with expertise in this area, and given its rapid growth it is essential to encourage new researchers to specialise in this field.

Enabling STSMs for young researchers to gain expertise in different departments is crucial to catalyse development of expertise in the “next generation”.

Specific objectives:

  • Hold 2 expert WG meetings per year that serve to develop SOPs for imaging protocols relevant for quantitative muscle imaging in natural history studies and clinical trials.
  • Publish optimised protocols for Dixon acquisition (Iterative Decomposition of water and fat with Echo Asymmetry and Least-squares estimation, IDEAL vs non-IDEAL, and fat spectrum simulation) and T2 acquisition using new approaches (partially Spoiled Steady State Free Precession, pSSFP, acquisitions) validated in a multicentric, cross-platform setting.
  • Hold 1 training school per year for MR staff from different centres at a central location, coordinated by the Action’s Dissemination and Training Committee (DTC).
  • Offer up to 4 STSMs per year for ESRs to train in muscle imaging at centres of excellence. ESRs from Eastern Europe will be encouraged to make use of the offer as will those who are working in neuromuscular centres with an interest in clinical trials. Applicants are selected by the DTC.
  • Provide expert site visits for onsite training on outcomes of WG1 and WG2 to ensure implementation of the relevant protocols. 2.6: One international conference on neuromuscular imaging as a show case for European translational research in rare diseases.

Involved in the working group are….

Pierre Carlier Claudia Cinnante
Dirk Fischer Nathalie Goemans
Kieren Hollingsworth Bill Rooney
Sandro Galea Soler Tommaso Tartaglione
Krista van den Borne Tommaso Verdolotti
Dmitri Vlodavets