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Abstract #1000

Sodium MR Imaging in the Study of Hepatic Encephalopathy

Nadim Jon Shah1,2, Vincent Gras1, Anna-Maria Oros-Peusquens1, Eberhard Daniel Pracht1, Sandro Romanzetti1, Gerald Kircheis3, Dieter Hussinger3

1Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine 4, Medical Imaging Physics, Forschungszentrum Jlich GmbH, Jlich, Germany; 2Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neurology, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany; 3Klinik f. Gastroenterologie, Hepatologie und Infektiologie, Universittsklinikum Dsseldorf, Dsseldorf, Germany

Sodium MRI provides an new tool for the analysis of mechanisms involved in hepatic encephalopathy (HE), a neuropsychiatric complication of liver failure. Hyperintense regions observed in the basal ganglia in proton images of HE patients are expected to show changes in sodium images due to the involvement of hyponatraemia in HE. Using sodium MRI, expected subtle changes are investigated using the structural information - delineation of structures of interest - provided by anatomical MR images. Based on the analysis of a large group of patients versus controls, this research potentially provides novel, valuable information concerning metabolic changes in HE.