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Research MRI Safety

Resources for MRI Research

Information for Investigators and Study Team Personnel

General Safety Review
Depending on the design of the research study being proposed, the investigator may need to have the submission approved by more than one safety committee. For more information the investigator may contact the Office of Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Research MRI Safety Review Process
There are several steps to the approval process. The Office of Research has prepared detailed flow charts to offer a visual explanation. If you have further questions, please contact MRIresearch@mcw.edu. 

Glossary of Terms
A brief glossary of terms applied in research using MRI at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Introduction to MRI Safety Training
The first portion of the training and a basic resource (PDF) for MRI safety. 

Standard Operating Procedures
The Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are reviewed and revised as needed. 

 

Related Links to MRI Safety

National and International Sources: 

 MCW Sources: 

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the procedure for conducting human subject research using MRI?
The process for conducting human subject research using MRI involves several steps. Review the MRI Safety Approvals process map for details. 
How do I obtain permission to use the MRI Scanners?

To use the MCW scanners, you must apply through the Center for Imaging Research to obtain permission.

For other scanners, you must contact the institution where you are proposing to use the MRI scanner:

FH: Office of Clinical Research and Innovative Care Compliance (OCRICC) (414) 805-4082

CHW: Office of Corporate Compliance Children's Hospital and Health System (CHHS) Diane Bauer at (414) 266-6237 or dbauer@chw.org

What approvals do I need from the Research MRI Safety Committee?

Research MRI Safety Committee approval is required prior to IRB (human studies) or IACUC (animal studies) approval.

MRI Research Using Human Subjects (DOCX)

MRI Research Using Animals (DOCX)

Assistance is available via MRIresearch@mcw.edu

Approval is also needed from the Center for Imaging Research if the Medical College of Wisconsin scanners are requested.

What can I do to streamline the approval process?
  • Investigators and study team personnel must complete MRI Safety Training prior to conducting studies at the Medical College. Request MRI Safety Training online
  • Review the MRI Safety Training Procedure to ensure all required steps have been completed.
  • Investigators who have questions should contact the MRI Safety Committee prior to completing the MRI Safety Form for Human or Animal studies.
Is research monitored following approval?

Research is monitored for safety at each MRI study session by the MRI Scanner Operators.

Research is monitored as needed by the MRI Safety Committee, whose mission is to foster an environment for the safe use of MRI in research at MCW. This mission is accomplished by conducting timely reviews of human participant and animal studies using MRI, providing the necessary safety training for researchers and staff, ensuring only trained and safety screened individuals have access to the magnetic environment, evaluating the safe use of accessory equipment in or around the magnetic environment, and serving as an available resource for investigators and others.

What can I do to prevent problems in the laboratory?

The MRI Safety Committee has developed Standard Operating Procedures to guide safe practices for the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is expected that all investigators adhere to these procedures.

Questions and concerns may be addressed to the MRI Safety Committee

What training is required?

MRI Safety Training is required for study personnel working in the magnetic environment or recruiting human subjects who will enter the magnetic environment. Training includes a description of the dangers within the magnetic environment and instructions for identifying subjects and equipment that should not enter the magnetic environment

Principal Investigators are required to complete MRI Safety Training as they are ultimately responsible for the safety of the study. Training may be modified depending on the previous MRI experience of the investigator.

What resources are available?

Support is available for MRI research from the following sources:

Center for Imaging Research

MRI Safety Committee

What are the relevant policies, procedures and guidelines?
Please refer to the policies and SOPs at MRI Safety Standard Operating Procedures prior to conducting MRI research.
Who do I contact if I have additional questions?

Center for Imaging Research

General Inquiries: Debra Keiler 

(414) 955-4663

(414) 955-6562 (fax)

 

MRI Safety Committee

General Inquiries: MRIresearch@mcw.edu

Chair: Andrew Nencka, PhD 

Safety Training: Steven Jankowski 

 

Office of Research

Safety Coordinator: Casey Stark