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.
- Nuclear magnetic resonance
- Proton imaging
- Sodium imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging