MSBase Imaging Repository (MSBIR) 

The MSBase Imaging Repository (MSBIR) 

The next generation of collaborative clinical-imaging research in Multiple Sclerosis

The MSBase Imaging Repository (MSBIR) is a collaborative project between the Computational Neuroimaging Team at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind CentreSydney Neuroimaging Analysis Centre and MSBase, a neuroimmunology registry containing over 92,000 MS patient records from 170 clinics in 43 countries around the world.

As of September 2023 MSBIR contains 22,334 MRI scans from 4,063 subjects from 10 clinics/sites in 3 countries. Compatible MRI brain scans have been successfully analysed by iQ-MS.

The MSBIR is a unique, global multi-site image sharing and analysis platform that is accelerating clinical-imaging MS research in conjunction with MSBase.  Built on customized XNAT (an extensible open-source imaging informatics software platform dedicated to imaging-based research) instances deployed globally on Amazon Web Services (AWS) servers, MSBIR has filtering, search, and analytics capabilities that facilitate “big data” demands of global MS research initiatives, especially in the field of advanced imaging biomarkers.

In collaboration with the Sydney Neuroimaging Analysis Centre (SNAC), the MSBIR provides individual researchers with standardized structural analytics for uploaded MRI scans meeting specific acquisition criteria.  This data is made available to MS researchers through the MSBase platform.

The administration, operation, and maintenance of the MSBIR is overseen by a Project Control Board, which is comprised of researchers and personnel from The University of Sydney and MSBase.  The basic governance of the MSBase Imaging Repository (MSBIR) mirrors that of the existing MSBase Registry platform in terms of data ownership, custodianship, and usage.

MSBase registered sites are invited to upload their de-identified imaging data in DICOM format to the MSBIR.  Data can be ingested both as bulk ingestion and/or in real-time as radiographers complete their scans.  Transfer of data to the MSBIR does not imply any change in legal ownership or governance of any data or datasets.  The ownership of the data remains with the local site principal investigator (PI).  MSBIR acts as an enabling infrastructure, working with data owners to facilitate the transfer, management, storage, and access to data for research.

The MSBIR Project Control Board is committed to ensuring that the platform meets the data protection and privacy requirements of MSBase researchers and contributors.  Identifiable patient information will not be held within the MSBIR ecosystem.  Data may not be removed without the written approval from the relevant PI/owner and the MSBIR administration.  Data storage regulations will be adhered to with regard to the length of time that the data is stored.

The use of the imaging data in MSBIR can only be requested and accessed through the MSBase Registry portal request system.  By registering to use the MSBase portal, end-users agree to use the data in accordance with the privacy and security statements set by the MSBase Registry.

The MSBIR will store all uploaded DICOM imaging datasets from MBase member sites for future collaborative research.  However, a basic minimum acquisition is required to facilitate standardized analytics that will be routinely provided through the MSBIR.  Recommended minimum sequences that are required for brain structural analytics (lesion metrics and brain volumetrics) powered by SNAC include:

  • 3D-T1 (pre-contrast)
  • 3D-Fluid Attenuated Inversion Recovery

These sequences are a subset of those currently recommended by MAGNIMS, the Consortium of MS Centers and the Observatoire Français de la Sclérose en Plaques OSEP.

Structural change metrics observed over time will only be provided to MSBase researchers where imaging acquisition protocols and parameters remain longitudinally stable between scans uploaded to the MSBIR.

For further information, or for advice on specific MS MRI protocols and parameters, MSBase researchers may contact the MSBIR team at

The MSBIR team recognises the effort required by sites to upload scans for future research, and has, together with partners at SNAC and Flywheel developed software that facilitates the automated (on-site) de-identification and routing of scans from MSBase sites to the MSBIR. For technical details, please contact the MSBIR team on

  • For general and technical enquiries please contact us at
  • To apply for membership to contribute to MSBase and MSBIR please contact MSBase directly.


MSBIR is indebted to MSBaseBrain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney,  Sydney Neuroimaging Analysis Centre and the Nerve Research Foundation, University of Sydney for funding, co-development and logistical and technical support.
We also commend our industry sponsors for their vision in providing funds for the MSBIR platform: