Manganese in the brain can be measured without invasive procedures via MRI due to its ferromagnetic properties. In studies of patients with chronic liver disease, MR T-1weighted signal hypersensitivity in the basal ganglia in the brain was related to levels of erythrocyte Mn.77 Thus, MRI can be used as a diagnostic tool to assess exposure to manganese. The ability of Mn to enhance T-1 weighted images has led to development of Teslascan™ (mangafodipir), an MRI contrast agent containing manganese as a complex with dipyridoxyl (derived from vitamin B6) (Figure 9.5). Teslascan™ is used in MRI to enhance the detection, localization and characterization of the liver, pancreas and heart. The addition of TeslascanTM improved the correct characterization of lesions with histopathic confirmation by 75%.78
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