Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences


Centre for Advanced MRI - information for researchers

The following information details processes to be followed that allow the researcher and CAMRI to obtain all relevant information they need about a study and helps to make the facility user-friendly.

Contact us for a quote


Researchers aiming to perform studies at CAMRI should initially contact us at mri@auckland.ac.nz for a quote. The Charge Radiographer will ask the PI to complete a quote questionnaire to enable an accurate quote to be calculated. This is based on likely scan time, and whether the research is a local University-based study or an international commercially-funded trial. The quote is then generated and given a quote number which is used for invoicing purposes. 

Complete documentation


Before scanning can commence all the necessary documentation must have been received by us. These include:

  • Formal quote signed by the Principal Investigator
  • Funding approval confirmation
  • Ethics application and approval
  • Scan protocol (developed in conjunction with the staff at CAMRI – an initial meeting may be booked with the Charge Radiographer or Clinical Director to discuss the project)

Subject identification - click here for required information

We recommend scanning a volunteer to fine-tune a protocol and try out a paradigm before scanning study subjects. This will give the researchers an opportunity to test the quality of the data, ensure all the information is acquired and data is appropriate for intended purpose of the research prior to commencing the study.

Each subject is required to complete a Safety Sheet before scanning takes place.

*
Download Safety Sheet
(57.0 kB, PDF)

We will compile a folder specific to each study which will include all the relevant information including quote, ethics approval, study manual, scan protocol and correspondence. This is kept in the scanner control room until the study is complete and then will be filed under the study name in our data archive.

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Ethics


All research projects must have current ethics approval, when required, before commencing. The ethics application must include the MRI component in the main ethics application and also in the Patient Information Sheet. CAMRI is happy to be of help in providing any MRI specific information for ethics applications.

Only the procedure which has ethics approval can be run. Any amendments to the procedure will need an ethics amendment and approval.

CAMRI has a strict policy regarding incidental findings which must be adhered to in all instances. This policy includes the following statements:

Participant Information Sheet

This sheet must include the following statement(s) regarding the ‘Detection of Abnormalities'

"In the event that a condition which is assessed to be a clinical abnormality is detected through performing a scan on you, you will be informed of this and will be advised to consult your general practitioner."

"Because the images are not routinely reviewed by a radiologist we are unable to perform diagnostic scans for medical purposes of areas where you have known abnormalities."

Participants declining to be informed of an incidental finding

The participant information sheet states that where a significant incidental finding is made, participants will be advised of this finding. If a participant does not wish to be advised of such findings then it is CAMRI's policy to exclude them from the research project. It is CAMRI's position that an informed decision not to receive information regarding an incidental finding is not possible due to the broad range of possible findings and consequences. Without knowing what may or may not be found, a participant is unable to determine in an informed way if they would wish to be informed of the finding.

Data handling

Researchers can create a CD-ROM to take with them for later data analysis. The MRI scanner is also linked to a University server from which researchers can access their own data (the folders are password protected).

Data back-up is the researcher's own responsibility. CAMRI has its own data archiving system. If a researcher requires retrieval of data this is possible but will incur a cost. Currently we charge $40 per retrieval and copy of data per subject/study. Back-up of data more than six months old is kept off-site. If the data has been moved off-site then this process will take slightly longer for retrieval.

Data analysis generally takes place off-site in the researchers' own labs, however some of the equipment at CAMRI is necessary for specific analysis e.g. cardiac analysis on the Multi-Modality Workstation or CIM computers. In these instances time on the computers must be booked via the receptionist to avoid coinciding with clinical sessions.      

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Book for appointment


 Once all the relevant documentation has been received by CAMRI, researchers may commence booking subjects for scans. Generally researchers initially book time for one or two volunteers to test their programme and also perform some data analysis before booking study subjects.

Bookings are made by email: camribookings@auckland.ac.nz

Our hours of operation are 8am-5pm. If appointments are needed outside of these hours they are organised in discussion with CAMRI staff on a per case basis.      

Access


Researchers and study subjects can access CAMRI via the main entrance to Faculty of Medical and Health Science, University of Auckland, 85 Park Rd, Grafton, Auckland.

Car parking is available for study subjects, and parking permits and directions are issued from the CAMRI reception by prior arrangement. Please note: car parking is for patients or subjects only – researchers are not permitted to use these car parks. Also, researchers can only gain access to CAMRI during working hours.

Upon arrival in the department please sign in at the reception desk and wait with subjects in the waiting room until called through. The subject must fill in a safety questionnaire prior to coming through to the restricted area. Only the subject having the scan may come through – other subjects must wait in the waiting room until their turn, and are not permitted to come through to watch another subject's scan in progress.

On a first visit all researchers must complete a MRI safety questionnaire which is kept on file at CAMRI. There is a safety sheet to read through and a log sheet to sign to accept responsibility for your own safety. Any change to MRI safety status must be communicated to MRI staff. Researchers must sign the visitor’s log at reception one each visit.

Interview rooms

Currently we have 2 rooms available in the facility in which researchers may perform pre- or post-scan interviews with participants. Please let our receptionist know in advance if you would like to book some time in a room for this purpose.      

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Researcher's responsibilities


Storage capacity of researchers' equipment is limited at CAMRI, therefore we ask people to book a session and bring their equipment with them.

Setting up is done with the help of the radiographers. Clean linen is to be used for each subject and wipes are provided for headphones, etc for hygiene purposes.

Subjects are not to enter the scan room until they have been cleared by the radiographer on duty.

Similarly, research equipment may not be brought into the scan room without clearance by MRI staff. This is for your safety and to prevent injury or damage to subjects, personnel or equipment. If a researcher wishes to use a device that is not certified as MRI safe they must provide evidence that is acceptable to the Human Ethics Committee that it is safe to proceed with the research trial. After the procedure it is expected you will leave the area as you found it, with all equipment tidied away.     

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Acknowledgments


The Centre for Advanced MRI should be acknowledged in all subsequent publications or presentations where imaging has been performed at the facility.

We would greatly appreciate if researchers could forward us a copy of any publication arising from data collected at CAMRI.      

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