Dystonia, hyperintense basal ganglia, and high whole blood manganese levels in Alagille's syndrome

Attila G. Devenyi, Todd F. Barron, Alexander C. Mamourian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Hyperintensity of the globus pallidus on T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been reported in patients with chronic liver disease. This abnormality has been associated with the severity of liver disease and tremor, but its cause is unknown. Similar MRI signal abnormalities have been reported in experimental models of manganese neurotoxicity. This case report describes a child with Alagille's syndrome and endstage liver disease who developed dystonia and tremor associated with an elevated whole blood manganese level and symmetric hyperintense globus pallidi and subthalamic nuclei on T1-weighted but not T2-weighted MRI. Liver transplantation was performed; 2 months later, neurological function was improved, manganese levels were normal, and the MRI signal abnormality had completely resolved. This child had neurological findings described in manganese neurotoxicity with compatible laboratory and radiological findings. Manganese is excreted by the liver in bile, and toxicity may have resulted from the inadequacy of this mechanism, subsequently corrected by liver transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1068-1071
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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