UK Renal Imaging Network (UKRIN): Enabling clinical translation of functional MRI for kidney disease
1) To engage with the wider community of researchers in the UK who develop and apply MR methods, thus maximising opportunities for clinical exploitation of renal MRI.
2) To build capacity and enhance the UK's expertise base in renal MRI by training postdoctoral researchers, sharing the expertise and know-how developed at UK sites across the three main MR vendor platforms, and delivery of a programme of network activities including training workshops.
3) To define a series of optimised protocols for renal imaging that can be deployed across all UKRIN sites. We will harmonise multiparametric renal MR protocols across the three main MR vendor platforms at clinical field strengths of 1.5 and 3 Tesla. Protocols to be developed comprise of BOLD R2*, diffusion weighted imaging, T1 and T2-weighted images, angiography and phase contrast MRI, T1 mapping and arterial spin labelling.
4) To set up a Data Analysis Centre (DAC) to support future clinical studies that collect renal MRI in study design and setup, and in image quality assurance and processing. We will develop and validate a software framework for processing multi-parametric renal MRI data, based on functionality provided by UKRIN partners. This open source framework can be viewed on GitHub.
5) To form a normative data set of subjects across MR vendors (GE, Philips, Siemens) and field strengths (1.5 and 3 Tesla) to establish reproducibility and biological variance of MR biomarkers for future clinical multi-centre trials..