High-resolution quantitative sodium imaging at 9.4 tesla

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Purpose:Investigation of the feasibility to perform high-resolution quantitative sodium imaging at 9.4 Tesla (T).Methods:A proton patch antenna was combined with a sodium birdcage coil to provide a proton signal without compromising the efficiency of the X-nucleus coil. Sodium density weighted images with a nominal resolution of 1 × 1 × 5 mm3 were acquired within 30 min with an ultrashort echo time sequence. The methods used for signal calibration as well as for B0, B1, and off-resonance correction were verified on a phantom and five healthy volunteers.Results:An actual voxel volume of roughly 40 μL could be achieved at 9.4T, while maintaining an acceptable signal-to-noise ratio (8 for brain tissue and 35 for cerebrospinal fluid). The measured mean sodium concentrations for gray and white matter were 36 ± 2 and 31 ± 1 mmol/L of wet tissue, which are comparable to values previously reported in the literature.Conclusion:The reduction of partial volume effects is essential for accurate measurement of the sodium concentration in the human brain. Ultrahigh field imaging is a viable tool to achieve this goal due to its increased sensitivity. Magn Reson Med 73:342–351, 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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