Sodium MRI

Ronald Ouwerkerk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Sodium ( 23Na) imaging has a place somewhere between 1H-MRI and MR spectroscopy (MRS). Like MRS it potentially provides information on metabolic processes, but only one single resonance of ionic 23Na is observed. Therefore pulse sequences do not need to code for a chemical shift dimension, allowing 23Na images to be obtained at high resolutions as compared to MRS. In this chapter the biological significance of sodium in the brain will be discussed, as well as methods for observing it with 23Na-MRI. Many vital cellular processes and interactions in excitable tissues depend on the maintenance of a low intracellular and high extracellular sodium concentration. Healthy cells maintain this concentration gradient at the cost of energy. Leaky cell membranes or an impaired energy metabolism immediately leads to an increase in cytosolic total tissue sodium. This makes sodium a biomarker for ischemia, cancer, excessive tissue activation, or tissue damage as might be caused by ablation therapy. Special techniques allow quantification of tissue sodium for the monitoring of disease or therapy in longitudinal studies or preferential observation of the intracellular component of the tissue sodium. New methods and high-field magnet technology provide new opportunities for 23Na-MRI in clinical and biomedical research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
Number of pages27
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)10643745


  • Na
  • brain
  • cancer
  • MRI
  • other nuclei
  • sodium
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Medicine(all)

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