Safety & Ethics

 

MRI Safety
Ethics Committees
Data Confidentiality


MRI Safety

MRI scans are routinely performed in hospitals as well as research centres worldwide, and the risk is extremely low. The main risk in MRI arises from the action of the strong magnetic field on any metal objects on or within the body, such as pacemakers and other metallic implants. Strict screening procedures to remove external metal objects and exclude unsuitable volunteers will be carried out. Certain metallic items such as jewelry and underwire bras may heat up sufficiently to cause burns when worn in the scanner, and subjects should avoid wearing these items on the day of scan. Other potential issues include heating of tissue due to absorption of energy and peripheral nerve stimulation that may cause an uncomfortable but not harmful tingling sensation in the limbs. These are well managed by software and hardware controls and the risk is minimal. There is no known long-term risk from exposure to the magnetic fields of an MRI scanner.


Ethics Committees

Each institution in Singapore that engages in human-related research is governed by an ethics committee (EC). Examples are Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and Domain Specific Review Boards (DSRBs). These ECs aim to protect the rights and welfare of persons participating in research studies, and review, approve and monitor ethical issues related to research. All research studies carried out at CIRC involving human subjects, will have been approved by the relevant EC. Any queries regarding ethical issues or reports on suspected breaches of ethics may be referred to the respective study EC. Volunteers will be fully briefed upon enrolling to participate in a research study.


Data Confidentiality

Information collected for studies will be kept strictly confidential and all images collected are for the purpose of research only. Your records and data will be stored securely at CIRC. To the extent of the applicable laws and regulations, the records and data will not be made publicly available. Only the Principal Investigator and persons authorized by the respective ethics review committees will have access to any research data. Identifiable information will never be used in a publication or presentation. Data will be anonymized at the earliest opportunity.