Edinburgh Imaging

01 Sep 18. UKRIN

Edinburgh becomes a member of the UK Renal Imaging Network (UKRIN).

Chronic Renal Disease

The global burden of kidney disease is significant with 10% of the world’s population having chronic kidney disease (CKD), and in developed countries alone over two million people sustain acute kidney injury (AKI) every year.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging

MRI has emerged as a promising new approach for improving the management of kidney diseases. MRI provides not only structural information, but functional MRI methods allow assessment of the whole kidney in terms of inflammation, fibrosis, oxygenation, and microstructure.


UK Renal Imaging Network

The UKRIN brings together major UK renal MRI research centres through membership of a national group of MR physicists, radiologists, and clinicians dedicated to developing MRI methods for the study of the kidney.

The group is chaired by Professor Sue Francis, Professor at the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre at Nottingham, and Dr Nick Selby, Associate Professor of Nephrology and Honorary Consultant at Nottingham and Royal Derby Hospital.

The main purpose of the UKRIN is to coordinate ongoing activities in the field of renal imaging research towards the set-up of joint multi-centre clinical studies, to avoid duplication of efforts and promote standardisation by developing shared infrastructures and tools. We will work collaboratively to share expertise, resolve challenges in acquisition and analysis, standardise approaches, and provide technical, biological and clinical validation through multi-centre studies. We aim to overcome practical barriers to the setup of studies e.g. new MRI technologies are currently confined to bespoke solutions in dedicated research centres.


UKRIN primary aims:
  • To co-ordinate ongoing activities in the field of renal imaging research
  • To build a shared framework with standardised methods for renal imaging in clinical research
  • To generate research proposals for multicentre clinical studies involving renal imaging
  • To provide imaging expertise and methods for clinical studies that arise from other Clinical Study Groups (CSGs) within the UKKRC
  • To facilitate collaboration between investigators involved in renal imaging research
  • To initially focus on MRI and later expand to include other imaging modalities.

Both the 3T Magnetom Prisma and the 3T Skyrafit MR scanners at Edinburgh Imaging Facility RIE and the Edinburgh Imaging Facility QMRI will be available to be used for research associated with the UKRIN.


MRC Partnership Grant

The UKRINhave recently been awarded a Medical Research Council Partnership grant which commences on 1st September 2018 for 3 years.

This aims to enable clinical translation of functional MRI (fMRI) for kidney disease and specifically will address:

  • Sharing of expertise and building capacity in renal MRI 
  • Development of harmonized approaches in renal MRI across MR field strength (1.5 and 3 T) and MR vendors (GE, Philips, Siemens)
  • Repeatability data in a healthy subject cohort
  • Development of data sharing and data analysis methods
  • Acceleration of new technological advances and realising the clinical potential of renal MRI