Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is regarded as the gold standard for soft-tissue imaging (such as muscles, organs and fat), primarily because it greatly contrasts soft tissue and is a simple, non-invasive procedure without ionizing radiation, making it patient-friendly. Not only is it a pure imaging device, but MRI has also evolved into a very powerful tool that quantitatively measures diverse properties of the body. One such application is body and muscle composition analysis, which is increasingly used to understand patients’ metabolic and functional profiles on a deeper level for health concerns such as muscular dystrophies, sarcopenia, obesity, liver disease and diabetes.
Despite being widely available, historically, MRI has sometimes been deemed too cumbersome to implement in clinical trials – especially multi-center trials where reproducibility is key. In particular for body composition analysis, MRI is sometimes overlooked because it is perceived as too difficult compared to alternatives such as DXA, single-slice CT/MRI techniques, ultrasound, functional tests and BMI. However, data derived from these other modalities lack the gold standard quality, risking the loss of valuable insights into patients’ body composition and muscle quality, which can lead to improper decision-making or conclusions in clinical studies. Using optimized and standardized imaging protocols and processing, MRI-based body composition analysis is now more rapid, robust and reproducible than ever. As MRI protocols and biomarkers are standardized, the use of MRI in clinical trials becomes simpler and more available.
This webinar begins with a short introduction to MRI, and the MRI techniques used for body composition analysis. It covers common MRI sequences and protocols, and the importance of standardization. One of AMRA Medical’s experienced MRI Technologists will describe a body composition MRI examination from the patient’s perspective highlighting tolerability. In the last segment, we explain how automatic image processing generates the measurements, discuss the advantages of volumetric MRI-based body and muscle composition measurements, and describe the utility of the measurements in a selection of applications and therapeutic areas.