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Sodium-23 magnetic resonance brain imaging

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This is a review of recent work in23Na MR imaging. The main emphasis of recent papers has been pulse sequences that, with appropriate postprocessing, give images of the fast, slow, and intermediate components of T2 decay. The assignment of compartmental designation to the T2 component remains a problem except for homogeneous structures easily identifiable anatomically (ventricles, superior sagittal sinus, globe of the eye). Compartmental distribution of sodium is described. The predominance of the interstitial and plasma compartment, the invisibility of part of the intracellular sodium, and the difficulty in imaging the very fast T2 component of visible intracellular sodium make the usual Na spin-echo image essentially an image of the interstitial and plasma space. Use of super paramagnetic iron oxide coupled to dextran as a contrast medium may help to identify the plasma compartment. Because the usual Na MR images are essentially interstitial and plasma images, our own interest is in observing functional changes in these compartments. Another proposed application is the detection of the very fast T2 component in brain tumors to aid in defining tumor grade and extent.

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Supported in part by the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Research Service

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Winkler, S.S. Sodium-23 magnetic resonance brain imaging. Neuroradiology 32, 416–420 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00588475

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Key words

  • Brain
  • Sodium
  • Magnetic resonance imaging