Lessons on Quality Control in Large Scale Imaging Trials: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)

Gustavo J. Volpe, Patricia Rizzi, Marcelo S. Nacif, Erin P. Ricketts, Bharath Ambale Venkatesh, Chia Ying Liu, Antoinette S. Gomes, W. Gregory Hundley, Martin R. Prince, James C. Carr, Robyn L. McClelland, Kiang Liu, John Eng, W. Craig Johnson, Raimond L. Winslow, David A. Bluemke, João A.C. Lima*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), initiated in July 2000, is a six-center longitudinal population-based study that included 6,814 men and women at baseline study. Cardiac MRI was part of the study procedures, representing the first large-scale application of cardiac MRI in a multi-center and multi-ethnic population study in the USA. To date, this is the largest ever MRI study. Such effort would come with a great potential for variability due to the number of professionals involved; therefore, an intensive quality control process was implemented since the very beginning. A workflow for process control was used to match image protocols in different types of MRI scanners, transfer images to the reading center, train technicians, and implement image quality scorecards. This article reviews the influence of research management for quality control and work standardization processes in cardiac magnetic MRI results at the 10th year of follow-up in MESA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent Cardiovascular Imaging Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2015


  • Cardiac magnetic resonance
  • Heart function
  • Quality control
  • Tissue characterization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Histology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Cell Biology


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