SOP111: BIAC Safety Training

  1. Summary

    The Brain Imaging and Analysis Center (BIAC) is committed to the safe conduct of research MRI studies.

  2. Scope

    These policies apply to two classes of individuals. The first class is research technicians who are hired by the BIAC and/or Radiology specifically to assist in the acquisition of MR image and spectroscopy data. The operation of the MRI systems will be part of their job description. The second class is post-docs and advanced graduate students of the primary BIAC faculty for which operating the MRI scanners is an important part of their training. Approval of the BIAC director is required for all trainees.

  3. Policies and Procedures

    Dr. Allen Song will supervise the training program. Training will be provided by the BIAC faculty, including Drs. Song, Voyvodic, MacFall, Charles, Petrella, and McCarthy. The specific components of the training program taught by each of these faculty members will be specified in the training outline below. In addition, supplementary training will be provided by the Radiology MRI technologists and nursing staff.

    1. Research Principles in Neuroimaging

      Goal of component

      This component will provide training in the principles of MR physics and engineering, human brain anatomy, and experimental design and analysis.

      Assessment of component

      A comprehensive written examination devised by the faculty will be given to assess competence in the specified areas. Outcome of the examination will be included in the employment folder for the individual.

      Instructors for this component

      Drs. Song, MacFall, and Charles will teach the principles of MR physics and engineering. Dr. McCarthy will teach human brain anatomy. Drs. Huettel and McCarthy will teach experimental design and analysis.

      Study materials for this component

      The BIAC fMRI textbook "Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging" published by Sinauer Associates, will be used as primary reference. The MRI atlas by Hanna Damasio will be the primary source for the MRI brain anatomy. The atlas of Talairach and Tournoux will be the primary source for the component on stereotaxic brain atlases.

      Topics of this component

      1. Principles of MR
        • Spin physics
        • Pulse sequences
        • Contrast (T1, T2, Diffusion, Perfusion, Proton Density, BOLD)
        • Spectroscopy
        • Major components of an MRI system (main field, gradients, RF coils, cryogens)
      2. Brain anatomy
        • Gross neuroanatomy
        • Gross neurovascular anatomy
        • Stereotaxic systems (Talairach, MNI)
      3. Experimental design
        • Independent/dependent variables
        • Confounding factors
        • Randomization
        • Event-related vs. blocked designs
    2. Research Practice in Neuroimaging

      Goal of component

      This component will provide hands-on training in the operation of the GE Signa MRI scanner and ancillary equipment.

      Assessment of component

      An individual practicum will be given on each topic area to each individual to assess competence on scanning after 3 months of training.

      Instructors for this component

      Dr. Song will teach the operation of the SIGNA scanner assisted by the MRI technologist staff. Drs. Voyvodic and Huettel will provide instruction in the ancillary experimental control apparatus. Candidates will be given individual and group instruction, and will be permitted to operate the scanner under direct supervision.

      Study materials for this component

      This component will utilize GE operating manuals for the Signa console. Selected chapters from the textbook by Westbrook and Kaut entitled "MRI in Practice" will also be used.

      Topics of this component

      1. Operating the Signa consoles
        • Following a protocol to conduct an imaging study
        • Following a protocol to conduct a spectroscopy study
        • Writing and saving a protocol
        • Filming
        • Database operations (archiving and backup)
        • Rebooting the MRI scanner
      2. Practical MRI
        • Positioning the subject in the head coil and scanner
        • Connecting alternate coils to the scanner
        • Recognizing MRI artifacts (zipper, susceptibility, wrap-around)
        • Using monitoring equipment (e.g., ECG, bellows, pulse oximeter)
        • Using the scheduling software
      3. Using ancillary experimental control equipment
        • CIGAL experimental control software
        • Response manipulanda
        • LCD projector and goggles
        • Stimulation computer
        • Auditory stimulation
      4. Post-processing
        • Reconstruction of k-space data into images
        • Data management on the BIAC file servers
    3. Subject Care and Safety

      Goal of component

      This component will provide training in MRI safety.

      Assessment of component

      A comprehensive written examination devised by the faculty will be given to assess competence in the specified areas. Knowledge of BIAC Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will be stressed. Outcome of the examination will be included in the employment folder for the individual.

      Instructors for this component

      Drs. Song, MacFall, Charles, and Petrella will teach MRI safety. Dr. McCarthy will provide instruction on obtaining informed consent. The Radiology nursing staff will present in-service training on patient transport, calling codes, and CPR. Dr. Petrella will instruct on the SOP for incidental findings.

      Study materials for this component

      This component will utilize the GE safety video and chapters on MRI safety from the BIAC fMRI textbook "Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging" (Huettel, Song, and McCarthy). Supplemental content will be provided by Dr. Frank Shellock's web site and Dr. Manny Kanal's web site. The BIAC SOPs will also be provided on the BIAC web site. Information regarding human research will be obtained on the Duke Center for the study of Ethics and Humanities web site.

      Topics of this component

      1. BIAC Level 1 safety training
      2. BIAC Level 2 safety training
      3. BIAC Level 3 safety training
    4. Continuing Education

      It is noted that this training program is designed to be extensible as research objectives change and as new investigators make use of the BIAC facilities. For example, functional imaging studies have recently been carried out in the spinal cord and thus spinal cord anatomy and imaging protocols may eventually be added to the training program. Continuing education will be provided for personnel to instruct about such advances. An important forum for continuing education is the BIAC User Group (BUG) meetings that are held periodically. The BUG meetings provide tutorials on new developments in MRI and colloquium on research conducted at BIAC and other institutions.