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Assessment of the renal corticomedullary (23)Na gradient using isotropic data sets

S. Haneder, S. Konstandin, J. Morelli, L. Schad, S. Schoenberg and H. Michaely

Acad Radiol, 20 (4), pp.407-413

(23)Na magnetic resonance imaging is a promising technique for the noninvasive imaging of renal function. Past investigations of the renal corticomedullary [(23)Na] gradient have relied on imaging only in the coronal plane and on cumbersome calculations of [(23)Na], which require the use of external phantoms. The aim of this study is therefore two-fold: to use an isotropic three-dimensional data set to compare coronal measurements of renal [(23)Na] relative to measurements obtained in planes along the corticomedullary gradients and to investigate cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (23)Na signal as an internal reference standard, obviating the need for time-intensive [(23)Na] calculations.Nominal isotropic three-dimensional (23)Na MRI data sets were obtained in 14 healthy volunteers before and after a water load. Images were reconstructed in the coronal plane and in planes angled along the direction of the corticomedullary sodium gradients. [(23)Na] values and values of the corticomedullary [(23)Na] gradient were measured by placement of a linear region of interest along corticomedullary gradients in both the coronal/nonangled [(23)Na(non-ang)] and the angled [(23)Na(ang)] image reconstructions. CSF [(23)Na] was also acquired at multiple levels. Ratios of renal (23)Na and CSF (23)Na signal were calculated to construct a semiquantitative parameter, [(23)NaCSF]. Results of water stimulation as measured by [(23)NaCSF] and [(23)Na(ang)] were then compared.Mean values of [(23)Na(ang)] were statistically significantly greater than those of [(23)Na(non-ang)] (P < .0001), although these values were linearly correlated (R = 0.553, P < .0001) and exhibited similar extents of decreases in absolute terms (P = .2) and in terms of the corticomedullary gradient following the water load. CSF [(23)Na] did not statistically significantly differ at any level after the water load (P > .5) but tended to increase in the cranial direction (P < .001). [(23)NaCSF] measures demonstrated analogous statistical properties to [(23)Na(ang)] before and after the water load.Assessment of renal corticomedullary [(23)Na] gradients using isotropic data sets with image reconstructions along the gradients is likely more accurate than measurements in the coronal plane. Because CSF [(23)Na] differs based on anatomic levels, such measures are useful as an internal reference only if region of interest placement is consistent. With this caveat in mind, normalization of renal to CSF (23)Na signal provides a feasible, less cumbersome alternative to [(23)Na] calculations in intraindividual studies.

Contact: Dr. Frank Zöllner last modified: 30.09.2020
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