Cardiorenal sodium MRI in small rodents using a quadrature birdcage volume resonator at 9.4 T

  • Laura Boehmert
  • Helmar Waiczies
  • Andre Kuehne
  • Celal Oezerdem
  • Sonia Waiczies
  • Ludger Starke
  • Min-Chi Ku
  • Andreas Pohlmann
  • Erdmann Seeliger
  • Thoralf NiendorfEmail author
Research Article



Design, implementation, evaluation and application of a quadrature birdcage radiofrequency (RF) resonator tailored for renal and cardiac sodium (23Na) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in rats at 9.4 T.

Materials and methods

A low pass birdcage resonator (16 rungs, din = 62 mm) was developed. The transmission field (B1+) was examined with EMF simulations. The scattering parameter (S-parameter) and the quality factor (Q-factor) were measured. For experimental validation B1+-field maps were acquired with the double-angle method. In vivo sodium imaging of the heart (spatial resolution: (1 × 1 × 5) mm3) and kidney (spatial resolution: (1 × 1 × 10) mm3) was performed with a FLASH technique.


The RF resonator exhibits RF characteristics, transmission field homogeneity and penetration that afford 23Na MR in vivo imaging of the kidney and heart at 9.4 T. For the renal cortex and medulla a SNRs of 8 and 13 were obtained and a SNRs of 14 and 15 were observed for the left and right ventricle.


These initial results obtained in vivo in rats using the quadrature birdcage volume RF resonator for 23Na MRI permit dedicated studies on experimental models of cardiac and renal diseases, which would contribute to translational research of the cardiorenal syndrome.


23Na MR Sodium Renal Cardiac Cardiorenal 



This work was funded in part (T. Niendorf, E. Seeliger) by the German Research Foundation (Gefoerdert durch die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Projektnummer394046635, SFB 1365, RENOPROTECTION. Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), Project number 394046635, SFB 1365, RENOPROTECTION).

Author contribution

Study conception and design: LB, HW, AK, CO, AP, TN, ES. Acquisition of data: LB, AP. M-CK, SW. Analysis and interpretation of data: LB, LS, AK. Drafting of manuscript: LB, TN. Critical revision: LB, HW, AK, CO, SW, LS, M-CK, AP, TN.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Thoralf Niendorf is CEO of MRI.TOOLS GmbH, Berlin, Germany. Andre Kuehne and Helmar Waiczies are employees of MRI.TOOLS GmbH, Berlin, Germany.


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Copyright information

© European Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Berlin Ultrahigh Field Facility (B.U.F.F.), Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz AssociationBerlinGermany
  2. 2.MRI.TOOLS GmbHBerlinGermany
  3. 3.DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research)BerlinGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Vegetative PhysiologyCharité University MedicineBerlinGermany
  5. 5.Experimental and Clinical Research CenterA Joint Cooperation Between the Charité Medical Faculty and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular MedicineBerlinGermany

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