Imaging in population science: Cardiovascular magnetic resonance in 100,000 participants of UK Biobank - Rationale, challenges and approaches

Steffen E. Petersen, Paul M. Matthews, Fabian Bamberg, David A. Bluemke, Jane M. Francis, Matthias G. Friedrich, Paul Leeson, Eike Nagel, Sven Plein, Frank E. Rademakers, Alistair A. Young, Steve Garratt, Tim Peakman, Jonathan Sellors, Rory Collins, Stefan Neubauer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


UK Biobank is a prospective cohort study with 500,000 participants aged 40 to 69. Recently an enhanced imaging study received funding. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) will be part of a multi-organ, multi-modality imaging visit in 3-4 dedicated UK Biobank imaging centres that will acquire and store imaging data from 100,000 participants (subject to successful piloting). In each of UK Biobank's dedicated bespoke imaging centres, it is proposed that 15-20 participants will undergo a 2 to 3 hour visit per day, seven days a week over a period of 5-6 years. The imaging modalities will include brain MRI at 3 Tesla, CMR and abdominal MRI at 1.5 Tesla, carotid ultrasound and DEXA scans using carefully selected protocols. We reviewed the rationale, challenges and proposed approaches for concise phenotyping using CMR on such a large scale. Here, we discuss the benefits of this imaging study and review existing and planned population based cardiovascular imaging in prospective cohort studies. We will evaluate the CMR protocol, feasibility, process optimisation and costs. Procedures for incidental findings, quality control and data processing and analysis are also presented. As is the case for all other data in the UK Biobank resource, this database of images and related information will be made available through UK Biobank's Access Procedures to researchers (irrespective of their country of origin and whether they are academic or commercial) for health-related research that is in the public interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number46
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Biobank
  • Cardiovascular magnetic resonance
  • Nested-case control study
  • Population-based study
  • Prospective cohort study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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