Rationale and Objectives: Sodium magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the kidneys has been used to spatially map areas of sodium-concentrating activity and to quantify the corticomedullary sodium gradient in various physiologic and pathophysiologic conditions. In this case study, sodium MRI of a clinically well-functioning transplanted kidney was performed to determine whether its sodium gradient could be detected and quantified using this method. Materials and Methods: Sodium MRI was performed on a 3T scanner with a commercial rectangular sodium surface coil placed on the lower abdomen over the palpable transplanted kidney. A three-dimensional gradient echo sequence, modified for multinuclear imaging, was applied to acquire 23Na images. Results: Five main renal pyramids within the medulla were detected, and the corticomedullary sodium gradient was quantified in each renal pyramid by both region of interest-based and pixel-by-pixel analyses, resulting in a mean medulla/cortex signal-to-noise ratio of 1.8 ± 0.1 (n = 5) and a mean linear increase slope of 1.1 ± 0.1 relative arbitrary units per mm (n = 5). Conclusions: The feasibility and usability of 23Na MRI of a human renal allograft was demonstrated. Further studies are required to determine the clinical significance of this technique in the follow-up of patients after renal transplantation.
- Sodium MRI
- human, allograft
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging