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The handling of sodium by the renal system is a key indicator of renal function. Alterations in the corticomedullary distribution of sodium are considered important indicators of pathology in renal diseases. The derangement of sodium handling can be noninvasively imaged using sodium magnetic resonance imaging (23Na MRI), with data analysis allowing for the assessment of the corticomedullary sodium gradient. Here we introduce sodium imaging, describe the existing methods, and give an overview of preclinical sodium imaging applications to illustrate the utility and applicability of this technique for measuring renal sodium handling.This chapter is based upon work from the COST Action PARENCHIMA, a community-driven network funded by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) program of the European Union, which aims to improve the reproducibility and standardization of renal MRI biomarkers. This introduction chapter is complemented by two separate chapters describing the experimental procedure and data analysis.

Original publication





Publication Date





257 - 266


23Na, Kidney, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Mice, Rats, Sodium, Animals, Biomarkers, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Kidney, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Monitoring, Physiologic, Sodium Isotopes, Software