91 world experts, including Nawal Kinany and Dimitri Van De Ville from MIPLAB, have joined efforts to propose standardized imaging protocols for quantitative spinal cord (SC) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Their consensus methodology is published in Nature Protocols.

Quantitative spinal cord (SC) magnetic resonance imaging presents many challenges; for the past twenty years, researchers have developed more sensitive coil arrays as well as dedicated pulse sequences to tackle micromotions and susceptibility artifacts. However, the lack of standardized protocols leads to repeated methodological developments for each new study, as well as extremely difficult statistical comparisons from different studies to mine out potential biomarkers.

In this consensus paper published in Nature Protocols, a consortium of 91 experts, including Nawal Kinany and Dimitri Van De Ville, from MIPLAB, developed standard methodologies and sequences to image the human cervical spinal cord on 3T instruments from main manufacturers (Siemens, Philips, and GE).

As a result, authors were able to demonstrate high-quality and reproducible images from the same subjects over different sites and instruments, which paves the way for statistical analysis of patients’ cohorts across multiple sites and technological platforms.


Cohen-Adad, J., Alonso-Ortiz, E., Abramovic, M. et al. Generic acquisition protocol for quantitative MRI of the spinal cord. Nat Protoc (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41596-021-00588-0