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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1998;31(4): 644-665.
A study on manganese health hazards among experienced welders.
Gyu Hoi Kim, Hyun Sul Lim, Sun Hee Yu
Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, dongguk University, Korea.
This study was conducted to evaluate the health hazards and to develop early diagnostic methods of the manganism in experienced welders and to know the meaning of signal intensities on the brain Magnetic Resonance images. It was carried out from December 1996 to February 1997 with 277 male welders, the duration of welding was at least 5 years or more. The study was consisted of a questionnaire, physical examination and measurements of blood and urine manganese concentrations. Brain Magnetic Resonance imaging was done on 19 study subjects by random sampling. As the duration of welding increases, the positive rates of clinical symptoms, neurological examinations and blood manganese concentrations were also increased. However, physical examinations and urine manganese concentrations were not statistically significant with the duration of welding. Authors couldn't observe any Parkinsonism-like diseases. There were statistically significant correlations between duration of welding and blood manganese concentrations(r=0.16, p<0.01). There were not statistically significant correlations between duration of welding and urine manganese concentrations(r=0.06). There were statistically significant correlations between blood and urine manganese concentrations(r=0.34, p<0.01). By viewing brain Magnetic Resonance images, 13 welders(68.4 %) among 19 welders were found to have signal intensities. The positive rates of clinical symptoms, physical examinations, neurological examinations and blood and urine manganese concentrations were not statistically different between those with signal intensities and those without signal intensities. We would like to suggest that some non-specific clinical symptoms and neurological signs are correlated with the duration of welding but any Parkinsonism-like diseases had not been observed with these welders. Next we suggest that the high signal intensities on T1WI of brain Magnetic Resonance images are not the sign of manganese intoxication but the sign of manganese deposition.
Key words: Welding; Manganese; Magnetic Resonance imaging; High signal intensity; Neurological examination
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