Clinical Translation of Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging Biomarkers – an Overview and Gap Analysis of Current Practice

Penny L Hubbard Cristinacce, Sam Keaveney , Eric Ofori Aboagye, Matt G. Hall, Ross Little, James O'Connor, Geoff JM Parker, John Waterton, Jessica M Winfield, Maite Jauregui-Osoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This overview of the current landscape of quantitative magnetic resonance imaging biomarkers (qMR IBs) aims to support the standardisation of academic IBs to assist their translation to clinical practice.

We used three complementary approaches to investigate qMR IB use and quality management practices within the UK: 1) a literature search of qMR and quality management terms during 2011–2015 and 2016–2020; 2) a database search for clinical research studies using qMR IBs during 2016–2020; and 3) a survey to ascertain the current availability and quality management practices for clinical MRI scanners and associated equipment at research institutions across the UK.

The analysis showed increased use of all qMR methods between the periods 2011–2015 and 2016–2020 and diffusion-tensor MRI and volumetry to be popular methods. However, the “translation ratio” of journal articles to clinical research studies was higher for qMR methods that have evidence of clinical translation via a commercial route, such as fat fraction and T2 mapping.

The number of journal articles citing quality management terms doubled between the periods 2011–2015 and 2016–2020; although, its proportion relative to all journal articles only increased by 3.0%. The survey suggested that quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) of data acquisition procedures are under-reported in the literature and that QA/QC of acquired data/data analysis are under-developed and lack consistency between institutions.

We summarise current attempts to standardise and translate qMR IBs, and conclude by outlining the ideal quality management practices and providing a gap analysis between current practice and a metrological standard.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-182
Number of pages18
JournalPhysica Medica
Early online date30 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


  • Biomarkers
  • Body Composition
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods
  • QAQC
  • Clinical translation
  • Metrology
  • Quantitative MRI

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


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