Consensus-based technical recommendations for clinical translation of renal BOLD MRI

MAGMA. 2020 Feb;33(1):199-215. doi: 10.1007/s10334-019-00802-x. Epub 2019 Nov 25.


Harmonization of acquisition and analysis protocols is an important step in the validation of BOLD MRI as a renal biomarker. This harmonization initiative provides technical recommendations based on a consensus report with the aim to move towards standardized protocols that facilitate clinical translation and comparison of data across sites. We used a recently published systematic review paper, which included a detailed summary of renal BOLD MRI technical parameters and areas of investigation in its supplementary material, as the starting point in developing the survey questionnaires for seeking consensus. Survey data were collected via the Delphi consensus process from 24 researchers on renal BOLD MRI exam preparation, data acquisition, data analysis, and interpretation. Consensus was defined as ≥ 75% unanimity in response. Among 31 survey questions, 14 achieved consensus resolution, 12 showed clear respondent preference (65-74% agreement), and 5 showed equal (50/50%) split in opinion among respondents. Recommendations for subject preparation, data acquisition, processing and reporting are given based on the survey results and review of the literature. These technical recommendations are aimed towards increased inter-site harmonization, a first step towards standardization of renal BOLD MRI protocols across sites. We expect this to be an iterative process updated dynamically based on progress in the field.

Keywords: BOLD MRI; Biomarkers; Consensus; Imaging; Kidney; Standardization.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Consensus
  • Delphi Technique
  • Humans
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / standards
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / trends*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Translational Medical Research / trends


  • Biomarkers