To assess progressive kidney disease in a folic acid (FA) induced nephropathy model in mice, kidney T1 and volume were quantified using MRI. Mice were imaged at 7 T before and at 1, 4 and 6 weeks after FA or vehicle injection. One week after FA, T1 was significantly higher (P≤0.036) compared to control and correlated with kidney volume (R=0.90). Mice with marked T1 and volume increases 1 week after FA demonstrated severe fibrosis on histology at week 6. In conclusion, T1 mapping may provide a marker of the initiation and severity of later chronic kidney disease.