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Automated MRI Quality Assurance Data Collection and Analysis

Presentation Type: 

Quality Assurance (QA) is used to monitor the performance of MRI scanners and this is particularly important in multicentre imaging studies. In SINAPSE (Scottish Imaging Network a Platform for Scientific Excellence) a common QA protocol was agreed after studying the different QA protocols being used in the seven participant MR scanners in four centres and analysing the needs of multicentre studies. This common protocol provides a framework for monitoring the quality of the data obtained in the different centres to help facilitate the combination of data between centres.

Building on this previous MRI QA work performed in SINAPSE ([1,2]) we have designed a centralised service for collecting and analysing QA data produced by the SINAPSE collaboration centres. The deployment of such automatic service has several advantages that will streamline the adoption of the aforementioned protocol:
• Removes the burden of some manual tasks currently being done in the centres.
• Allows the sequence parameters used to be checked against the agreed acquisition protocol for accuracy and consistency.
• Ensures the consistency of the software used for the analysis and makes it easier the control and update of the software versions.
• Facilitates the reanalysis of the data.
• Enables the pooling of QA data from multiple scanners to help determine appropriate action levels.

This service will use a SINAPSE server deployed at ECDF (Edinburgh Compute and Data Facility). DICOM data containing the scanned phantoms can be directly sent to a DICOM receiver in the server. As QA data contains no patient data there should be no data protection issues; however, we will use PrivacyGuard [3], a DICOM de-identification application developed in SINAPSE, to assure that if any patient data is mistakenly sent it would be automatically removed, and that dataset deleted.
Furthermore, PrivacyGuard provides an extensibility mechanism used in this case to extract relevant QA information from the DICOM header and insert it into SINAPSE’s QA database.

The DICOM data is stored in ECDF and included in SINAPSE data catalogue that facilitates future searches, for instance for reanalysis. Additional non-DICOM information can be sent by SFTP (e.g. MR spectroscopy files) and will be also included in the QA database. Then an analysis job is submitted to the cluster, and the results inserted in the QA database. A web application, using the QA database information, allows monitoring the evolution of the QA parameters from all SINAPSE centres.
The integration of all these components provides a complete system for collecting, analysing and monitoring QA data in multicentre deployments while minimising the work load and the manual input required at each centre.

[1] K. Lymer et al. “Comparison of MRI at 3T and 1.5T – Preliminary Results from a Systematic Review”. British Chapter of ISMRM Meeting, Cardiff September 2009
[2]A. Coombs et al. “Geometric distortion in multicentre MRI: preliminary results of a phantom study”. British Chapter of ISMRM Meeting, Cardiff September 2009.
[3] See and

D. Rodriguez Gonzalez (1,2,3), T. Carpenter (1,3), J.I. van Hemert (1,2), A. Hutchison (3), K. Lymer (1,3), J De Wilde (1) and J. Wardlaw (1,3)
1 SINAPSE collaboration
2 National e-Science Centre, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh
3 SFC Brain Imaging Research Centre, Division of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh

Date and time: 
Friday, 26 March, 2010 - 15:40
Edinburgh Training & Conference Centre, 16 St. Mary's Street, Edinburgh, UK