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International MRIlab - A One Year Journey From The Basics To Advanced Methodologies of MRI

International MRIlab - A One Year Journey From The Basics To Advanced Methodologies of MRI
  • Neurology
  • Multiple sclerosis
International workshop by Excemed
Friday, Dec 11 - Saturday, Dec 12 2020



Event format

Learning Journey
Workshop session



Registration status

To register for this event, contact

Registration fee


- Module I: Siena, Italy 11–12 Dec 2020

- Module II: Barcelona, Spain 13–14 May 2021


All applications will be reviewed by the scientific committee members who will select the best candidates according to their profiles.

The following requirements are needed to apply:

  • An abbreviated curriculum vitae of the applicant including bibliography of any relevant publication
  • An applicant’s letter of intents
  • A letter of reference from the applicant’s mentor

The Registration fee is €600 for this dual module course (€300 per module) and includes:

  • Online tutorials
  • Live interventions
  • Coffee breaks and lunch
  • Educational materials
  • Certificate of attendance


This collaborative EXCEMED multi-format programme, includes a series of international MRILab Workshops designed for young neurologists/ neuroradiologists or other professionals with a particular interest in quantitative MRI applied to research in Multiple Sclerosis.


In demyelinating and neurodegenerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) supports diagnostic and therapeutic decisions, assesses prognosis, and improves understanding of the disease. Standardisation and optimisation of MRI acquisition protocols and analysis are therefore critical, both in clinical and research settings. Quantitative methods assessing lesions and atrophy are far less subjective for measuring disease burden in MS, compared with visual inspection, and are moving from research into clinical settings. Structural damage is predictive of motor and cognitive disability and needs to be accurately quantified, also in order to measure response to treatment. Several methods for imaging post-processing have been developed over time with different strengths, limits and scopes. However, whereas quantitative MRI measures have been extensively used in clinical studies and as endpoints in clinical trials, their introduction in the clinical setting has been difficult due to a number of methodological issues.


Live interventions:

  • Module I: Siena, Italy 11 – 12 December 2020
  • Module II: Barcelona, Spain 13 – 14 May 2021
  • The Lab is structured as follows:


The first module will focus on MRI acquisition and imaging post-processing of the brain (lesions and volume)
A remote tutoring programme provided by the members of the scientific committee and their teams will support the trainees in their research activities between the two modules by a message board on the MRILab dedicated page which will be accessible to all the participants to post questions and doubts.
The second module, that will take place 5 months from the first one, will focus on cortical lesions and volume and MRI acquisition and imaging post-processing of the spinal cord (lesions and volume).

Learning objectives

Through a series of different educational formats - both live and online - the MRI-Lab, facing basic and advanced methodological key aspects related to the use of quantitative measures of lesions and atrophy, aims to achieve the following learning objectives:

  • Illustrate the main issues in the standardisation and optimisation of MRI acquisition protocols
  • Describe how to facilitate image post-processing
  • Discuss strengths and limits of currently used software packages for image quantification
  • Deliver full analysis of lesion burden and atrophy in MRI samples.

Accreditation details

The live interventions programme has been submitted for CME accreditation to the European Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME®)

Scientific programme

Module I

DAY 1 - Friday, 11 December 2020 


08.45             Opening and Welcome 

                      N. De Stefano (Italy) - A. Rovira (Spain) 

09.00 L1:       MRI acquisition protocols and characteristics of MRI sequences for

                      brain lesion load and volume assessment. 

                      A. Rovira (Spain) 

09.25 L2:       MRI post-processing brain lesion load and volume assessment. 

                      N. De Stefano (Italy) 

09.50             Q&A 

10.00 L3:       Iron rims and smoldering lesions. 

                      A. Rovira (Spain) 

10.25 L4:       MRI markers of disease progression 

                      A. Rovira (Spain) 

10.50             Q&A 

11.10             Coffee break 

11.30 L5:       MRI acquisition issues influencing the accuracy of quantitative measurements 

                      M. Battaglini (Italy) - D. Pareto (Spain) 

12.00 L6:       Practical Issues with brain lesions segmentation and brain lesions segmentation

                      M. Battaglini (Italy) - D. Pareto (Spain) 

12.25             Q&A and discussion 

13.00             Lunch

14.00             Hands on practice training: brain lesions (lesion load)

                      M. Battaglini (Italy) - D. Pareto (Spain)

                      Learn the Tools: how to use JIM to perform manual lesion load.

                       • Case 1: T2-W lesion load
                       • Case 2: T1-W lesion load (or black-holes) 
                       • Case 3: Gadolinium enhancing lesion load  

                      How to measure lesion load segmentation with "Lesion Segmentation Toolbox"


DAY 2 - Saturday, 12 December 2020


09.00 L7:       Clinical relevance of brain atrophy 

                      N. De Stefano (Italy)

09.30             Q&A

09.40 L8:       MRI acquisition protocols for grey matter lesions assessment

                      A. Rovira (Spain)

10.20             Q&A

10.30             Discussion

11.00             Coffee Break

11.15 L9:       Artificial intelligence for creating predictive models in multiple sclerosis

                      M. de Bruijne (The Netherlands)

12.00             Q&A

12.10 L10:     Practical issues with global brain volume segmentation

                      N. De Stefano (Italy)

12.35             Q&A

12.45 L11:     Methods to quantify global brain volumes /changes: pros and limits

13.10             Q&A

13.20             Lunch

14.25 L12:     Methods to quantify regional brain volumes: pros and limits 

                      M. Battaglini (Italy) - D. Pareto (Spain) 

14.55             Hand on practice training: brain volume 

                      M. Battaglini (Italy) - D. Pareto (Spain) 

                      Learn the Tools: how to use SIENAx/SIENA to assess brain volume/change estimation.

                        • Cross-sectional cases: SIENAx

                        • Effect of filling on calculated GMF, WMF, BPF 

                        • Longitudinal cases: SIENA 

16.25              Coffee break

16.45              Difficulties faced during hand-on sessions 


17.15 L13:      Unmeet needs: topics for MRI research in MS 

                       N. De Stefano (Italy) 

17.45              Revision of the “Home-works”

18.15              Module I conclusions 


Module II

DAY 1 - Wednesday, 13 May 2021


8.45                Opening and Welcome 

9.00                Training experience (over the previous 6 months) all attendees 

9.30 L1:          Pathology of Grey matter in MS 

                       J. Geurts (The Netherlands)

10.15              Discussion

10.30 L2:        Clinical relevance of GM lesions 

                       N. De Stefano (Italy) 

11.00              Discussion 

11.15              Coffee break 

11.30              Hands on practice training: Cortical GM volume 

                       M. Battaglini (Italy) - D. Pareto (Spain) 

                       Introduction to VBM

                       • VBM analysis of grey matter 

13.00              Lunch

14.00              Hands on practice training: deep grey matter volume 

                       M. Battaglini (Italy) - D. Pareto (Spain) 

                       • FIRST/FSL

17.30              Day 1 wrap up 


DAY 2 - Thursday, 14 May 2021


9.00 L3:         Clinical relevance of spinal cord atrophy and lesions 

                      N. De Stefano (Italy) 

9.30 L4:         How to recognize and differentiate spinal cord lesions 

                      A. Rovira (Spain) 

10.00 L5:       Methods to quantify spinal cord volumes: pros and limits 

                      M. Battaglini (Italy) - D. Pareto (Spain) 

10.30             Coffee break

10.45             Hands on practice training: spinal cord volume 

                      M. Battaglini (Italy) - D. Pareto (Spain) 

                         • JIM

                         • Spinal cord toolbox 

12.45              Discussion

13.00              Lunch

14.15              Revision of the “home-works” and discussion on problems encountered

18.30              Final discussion and course conclusions




Marco Battaglini

Department of Neurological and Behavioral Sciences
University of Siena
Siena, Italy

Nicola De Stefano

Department of Medicine, Surgery & Neuroscience
University of Siena
Siena, Italy

Deborah Pareto

Vall d’Hebron University Hospital
Section of Neuroradiology Department of Radiology
Barcelona, Spain

Alex Rovira

Department of Radiology
Unit of Magnetic Resonance
Vall d’Hebron University Hospital
Barcelona, Spain