Sodium MRI of human articular cartilage of the wrist: a feasibility study on a clinical 3T MRI scanner



To measure sodium relaxation times and concentrations in human wrists on a clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner with a density-adapted radial sequence.

Materials and methods

Sodium MRI of human wrists was conducted on a 3T MR system using a dual-tuned 1H/23Na surface coil. We performed two studies with 10 volunteers each investigating either sodium T1 (study 1) or sodium T2* (study 2) relaxation times in the radiocarpal joint (RCJ) and midcarpal joint (MCJ). Sodium concentrations of both regions were determined.


No differences for transversal of longitudinal relaxation times were found between RCJ and MCJ (T2,s*(RCJ) = (0.9 ± 0.4) ms; T2,s*(MCJ) = (0.9 ± 0.3) ms; T2,l*(RCJ) = (14.9 ± 0.9) ms; T2,l*(MCJ) = (13.9 ± 1.1) ms; T1(RCJ) = (19.0 ± 2.4) ms; T1(MCJ) = (18.5 ± 2.1) ms). Sodium concentrations were (157.7 ± 28.4) mmol/l for study 1 and (159.8 ± 29.1) mmol/l for study 2 in the RCJ, and (172.7 ± 35.6) mmol/l for study 1 and (163.4 ± 26.3) mmol/l for study 2 in the MCJ.


We successfully determined sodium relaxation times and concentrations of the human wrist on a 3T MRI scanner.

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We thank Dr. Georg Oeltzschner (Russell H. Morgan Department for Radiology and Radiological Science, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, United States) for language editing and proofreading.

Author information




M-L: study conception and design, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting of manuscript; BK: study conception and design, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of data, critical revision; AMN, AL, DA, and SN: analysis and interpretation of data, critical revision; CS: study conception and design, critical revision; LW: acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of data, critical revision; H-JW: study conception and design, analysis and interpretation of data, critical revision.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Anja Müller-Lutz.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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The authors study was approved by the local ethics committee (ethic committee of the medical faculty of the Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf), and written informed consent was obtained from all volunteers.

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Müller-Lutz, A., Kamp, B., Nagel, A.M. et al. Sodium MRI of human articular cartilage of the wrist: a feasibility study on a clinical 3T MRI scanner. Magn Reson Mater Phy (2020).

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  • Sodium
  • 23Na MRI
  • Wrist
  • Sodium relaxation times
  • Cartilage
  • Magnetic resonance imaging