In vivo nmr imaging of sodium-23 in the human head

Sadek K. Hilal, Andrew A. Maudsley, J. B. Ra, Howard E. Simon, Peter Roschmann, Stefan Wittekoek, Z. H. Cho, S. K. Mun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


We report the first clinical nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) images of cerebral sodium distribution in normal volunteers and in patients with a variety of pathological lesions. We have used a 1.5 T NMR magnet system. When compared with proton distribution, sodium shows a greater variation in its concentration from tissue to tissue and from normal to pathological conditions. Image contrast calculated on the basis of sodium concentration is 7 to 18 times greater than that of proton spin density. Normal images emphasize the extracellular compartments. In the clinical studies, areas of recent or old cerebral infarction and tumors show a pronounced increase of sodium content (300-400%). Actual measurements of image density values indicate that there is probably a further accentuation of the contrast by the increased 'NMR visibility' of sodium in infarcted tissue. Sodium imaging may prove to be a more sensitive means for early detection of some brain disorders than other imaging methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of computer assisted tomography
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes


  • Nuclear magnetic resonance
  • Proton imaging
  • Sodium imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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