From research to clinical practice: a European neuroradiological survey on quantitative advanced MRI implementation

Elia Manfrini, Marion Smits, Steffi Thust, Sergej Geiger, Zeynep Bendella, Jan Petr, Laszlo Solymosi, Vera C. Keil*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: Quantitative MRI (qMRI) methods provide versatile neuroradiological applications and are a hot topic in research. The degree of their clinical implementation is however barely known. This survey was created to illuminate which and how qMRI techniques are currently applied across Europe. Methods: In total, 4753 neuroradiologists from 27 countries received an online questionnaire. Demographic and professional data, experience with qMRI techniques in the brain and head and neck, usage, reasons for/against application, and knowledge of the QIBA and EIBALL initiatives were assessed. Results: Two hundred seventy-two responders in 23 countries used the following techniques clinically (mean values in %): DWI (82.0%, n = 223), DSC (67.3%, n = 183), MRS (64.3%, n = 175), DCE (43.4%, n = 118), BOLD-fMRI (42.6%, n = 116), ASL (37.5%, n = 102), fat quantification (25.0%, n = 68), T2 mapping (16.9%, n = 46), T1 mapping (15.1%, n = 41), PET-MRI (11.8%, n = 32), IVIM (5.5%, n = 15), APT-CEST (4.8%, n = 13), and DKI (3.3%, n = 9). The most frequent usage indications for any qMRI technique were tissue differentiation (82.4%, n = 224) and oncological monitoring (72.8%, n = 198). Usage differed between countries, e.g. ASL: Germany (n = 13/63; 20.6%) vs. France (n = 31/40; 77.5%). Neuroradiologists endorsed the use of qMRI because of an improved diagnostic accuracy (89.3%, n = 243), but 50.0% (n = 136) are in need of better technology, 34.9% (n = 95) wish for more communication, and 31.3% need help with result interpretation/generation (n = 85). QIBA and EIBALL were not well known (12.5%, n = 34, and 11.0%, n = 30). Conclusions: The clinical implementation of qMRI methods is highly variable. Beyond the aspect of readiness for clinical use, better availability of support and a wider dissemination of guidelines could catalyse a broader implementation. Key Points: • Neuroradiologists endorse the use of qMRI techniques as they subjectively improve diagnostic accuracy. • Clinical implementation is highly variable between countries, techniques, and indications. • The use of advanced imaging could be promoted through an increase in technical support and training of both doctors and technicians.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6334-6341
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number8
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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