Total sodium concentrations increase dramatically throughout the entire brain in patients with advanced relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, according to a recently published article in the journal Radiology.1 The authors of that study report that sodium-23 MRI may be used to help monitor sodium concentrations in these patients.
Zaaraoui and colleagues1 set out to quantify levels of brain sodium accumulation at different stages of relapsing-remitting MS. They also sought to characterize for the first time the spatial location of sodium abnormalities at various stages of relapsing-remitting MS with sodium-23 MRI.2
Sodium levels are known to be high inside the brain stem, cerebellum, and temporal poles early in the course of MS. This study showed total sodium concentrations to be significantly increased in advanced disease—particularly in normal-appearing brain tissues, concomitant with disability. Sodium-23 MRI may be helpful in monitoring tissue injury and disability.
1. Zaaraoui W, Konstandin S, Audoin B, et al. Distribution of brain sodium accumulation correlates with disability in multiple sclerosis: a cross-sectional 23Na MR imaging study. Radiology. 2012;264:859-867.
2. Durning MV. MRI detects higher sodium concentration in advanced MS. Diagnostic Imaging.