Demystifying MRI for Body and Muscle Composition in Multi-Center Global Clinical Trials

Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Biomarkers,
  • Thursday, April 16, 2020

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.


André Ahlgren, PhD, Imaging Scientist, AMRA Medical

Dr. André Ahlgren is an MRI physicist with 10 years of experience in MRI method development, research and applications. He is currently working as an Imaging Scientist at AMRA Medical with a focus on method development – from MRI protocols to imaging algorithms and biomarkers. Dr. Ahlgren holds a PhD in MRI Physics from Lund University in Sweden, where he focused on methodological improvements in quantitative brain imaging. He also holds a Master of Science in Medical Radiation Physics.

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Sarah Formosa, MRI Specialist, AMRA Medical

Sarah Formosa is a Diagnostic Radiographer and MRI Specialist with 13 years of clinical MRI experience in whole body, neurology, oncology and MSK clinical and research applications. She currently provides MR Applications Support across MR platforms including new generation and legacy technology. Having trained with MRI OEM’s in Germany and the UK, she is now pursuing a Master’s Degree in Imaging for Research at the University of Edinburgh.

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Who Should Attend?

This webinar will benefit professionals in the life sciences, with relevant job titles including:

  • Principal Investigator
  • Chief Medical Officer
  • Medical Director
  • Clinical Project Manager
  • Imaging Specialist
  • Physicians
  • Clinical Operations
  • Clinical Development Manager
  • Procurement Manager
  • Statistician
  • Data Manager
  • Regulatory Coordinator
  • Research Nurse

What You Will Learn

  • Acquisition techniques for MRI body composition analysis
  • Comparing methods to measure muscle, fat and organs
  • Experiencing body composition MRI – the patient’s perspective
  • Extracting body and muscle measurements from MRI images
  • Advantageous uses of 3D MRI-based body/muscle metrics

Xtalks Partner


AMRA is a ground-breaking international digital health company at the forefront of medical imaging and precision medicine. The company has developed a new global standard in body composition assessment, the ability to automatically produce multiple fat and muscle biomarkers with unrivaled precision and accuracy, as well as contextual disease insights – all from a single, rapid, whole-body MRI. AMRA was founded in 2010 as a spin-off of Linköping University, Sweden, with the aim to support transformative care and vital decision-making from clinical research to health and wellness.

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