Sodium-23 magnetic resonance imaging (23Na MRI) allows direct measurement of tissue sodium concentrations. Current knowledge of skin, muscle and bone sodium concentrations in chronic kidney disease (CKD) and renal replacement therapy patients is limited. In this study we measured the tissue sodium concentrations in CKD, hemodialysis (HD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients with 23Na MRI of the lower leg and explored their correlations with established clinical biomarkers.
Ten healthy controls, 12 CKD Stages 3-5, 13 HD and 10 PD patients underwent proton and 23Na MRI of the leg. The skin, soleus and tibia were segmented manually and tissue sodium concentrations were measured. Plasma and serum samples were collected from each subject and analyzed for routine clinical biomarkers. Tissue sodium concentrations were compared between groups and correlations with blood-based biomarkers were explored.
Tissue sodium concentrations in the skin, soleus and tibia were higher in HD and PD patients compared with controls. Serum albumin showed a strong, negative correlation with soleus sodium concentrations in HD patients (r = -0.81, P < 0.01). Estimated glomerular filtration rate showed a negative correlation with tissue sodium concentrations (soleus: r = -0.58, P < 0.01; tibia: r = -0.53, P = 0.01) in merged control-CKD patients. Hemoglobin was negatively correlated with tissue sodium concentrations in CKD (soleus: r = -0.65, P = 0.02; tibia: r = -0.73, P < 0.01) and HD (skin: r = -0.60, P = 0.04; tibia: r = -0.76, P < 0.01).
Tissue sodium concentrations, measured by 23Na MRI, increase in HD and PD patients and may be associated with adverse metabolic effects in CKD and dialysis.