The UK Biobank imaging enhancement of 100,000 participants: rationale, data collection, management and future directions

Nat Commun. 2020 May 26;11(1):2624. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15948-9.


UK Biobank is a population-based cohort of half a million participants aged 40-69 years recruited between 2006 and 2010. In 2014, UK Biobank started the world's largest multi-modal imaging study, with the aim of re-inviting 100,000 participants to undergo brain, cardiac and abdominal magnetic resonance imaging, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and carotid ultrasound. The combination of large-scale multi-modal imaging with extensive phenotypic and genetic data offers an unprecedented resource for scientists to conduct health-related research. This article provides an in-depth overview of the imaging enhancement, including the data collected, how it is managed and processed, and future directions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biological Specimen Banks* / organization & administration
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement* / methods
  • Image Enhancement* / standards
  • Incidental Findings
  • Information Management*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multimodal Imaging
  • United Kingdom