Lower fractional anisotropy in the globus pallidus of asymptomatic welders, a marker for long-term welding exposure

Eun Young Lee, Michael R. Flynn, Guangwei Du, Mechelle Lewis, Amy H. Herring, Eric Van Buren, Scott Van Buren, Lan Kong, Richard Mailman, Xuemei Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Welding fumes contain several metals including manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), and copper (Cu) that at high exposure may co-influence welding-related neurotoxicity. The relationship between brain accumulation of these metals and neuropathology, especially in welders with subclinical exposure levels, is unclear. This study examined the microstructural integrity of basal ganglia (BG) regions in asymptomatic welders using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Methods: Subjects with (n = 43) and without (age- and gender-matched controls; n = 31) history of welding were studied. Occupational questionnaires estimated short-term (HrsW; welding hours and E90; cumulative exposure, past 90 days) and long-term (YrsW; total years welding and ELT; cumulative exposure, lifetime) exposure. Whole blood metal levels (Mn, Fe, and Cu) were obtained. Brain MRI pallidal index (PI), R1 (1/T1), and R2* (1/T2*) were measured to estimate Mn and Fe accumulation in BG [caudate, putamen, and globus pallidus (GP)]. DTI was used to assess BG microstructural differences, and related with exposure measurements. Results: When compared with controls, welders had significantly lower fractional anisotropy (FA) in the GP. In welders, GP FA values showed non-linear relationships to YrsW, blood Mn, and PI. GP FA decreased after a critical level of YrsW or Mn was reached, whereas it decreased with increasing PI values until plateauing at the highest PI values. GP FA, however, did not show any relationship with short-term exposure measurements (HrsW, E90), blood Cu and Fe, or R2* values. Conclusion: GP FA captured microstructural changes associated with chronic low-level Mn exposure, and may serve as a biomarker for neurotoxicity in asymptomatic welders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberkfw116
Pages (from-to)165-173
Number of pages9
JournalToxicological Sciences
Volume153
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

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Welding
Globus Pallidus
Anisotropy
Manganese
Basal Ganglia
Diffusion tensor imaging
Diffusion Tensor Imaging
Blood
Metals
Brain
Fumes
Putamen
Biomarkers
Magnetic resonance imaging
Copper
Iron

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology

Cite this

@article{d107ed92030a41e69ab2df250da8e669,
title = "Lower fractional anisotropy in the globus pallidus of asymptomatic welders, a marker for long-term welding exposure",
abstract = "Introduction: Welding fumes contain several metals including manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), and copper (Cu) that at high exposure may co-influence welding-related neurotoxicity. The relationship between brain accumulation of these metals and neuropathology, especially in welders with subclinical exposure levels, is unclear. This study examined the microstructural integrity of basal ganglia (BG) regions in asymptomatic welders using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Methods: Subjects with (n = 43) and without (age- and gender-matched controls; n = 31) history of welding were studied. Occupational questionnaires estimated short-term (HrsW; welding hours and E90; cumulative exposure, past 90 days) and long-term (YrsW; total years welding and ELT; cumulative exposure, lifetime) exposure. Whole blood metal levels (Mn, Fe, and Cu) were obtained. Brain MRI pallidal index (PI), R1 (1/T1), and R2* (1/T2*) were measured to estimate Mn and Fe accumulation in BG [caudate, putamen, and globus pallidus (GP)]. DTI was used to assess BG microstructural differences, and related with exposure measurements. Results: When compared with controls, welders had significantly lower fractional anisotropy (FA) in the GP. In welders, GP FA values showed non-linear relationships to YrsW, blood Mn, and PI. GP FA decreased after a critical level of YrsW or Mn was reached, whereas it decreased with increasing PI values until plateauing at the highest PI values. GP FA, however, did not show any relationship with short-term exposure measurements (HrsW, E90), blood Cu and Fe, or R2* values. Conclusion: GP FA captured microstructural changes associated with chronic low-level Mn exposure, and may serve as a biomarker for neurotoxicity in asymptomatic welders.",
author = "Lee, {Eun Young} and Flynn, {Michael R.} and Guangwei Du and Mechelle Lewis and Herring, {Amy H.} and {Van Buren}, Eric and {Van Buren}, Scott and Lan Kong and Richard Mailman and Xuemei Huang",
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Lower fractional anisotropy in the globus pallidus of asymptomatic welders, a marker for long-term welding exposure. / Lee, Eun Young; Flynn, Michael R.; Du, Guangwei; Lewis, Mechelle; Herring, Amy H.; Van Buren, Eric; Van Buren, Scott; Kong, Lan; Mailman, Richard; Huang, Xuemei.

In: Toxicological Sciences, Vol. 153, No. 1, kfw116, 01.09.2016, p. 165-173.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Lower fractional anisotropy in the globus pallidus of asymptomatic welders, a marker for long-term welding exposure

AU - Lee, Eun Young

AU - Flynn, Michael R.

AU - Du, Guangwei

AU - Lewis, Mechelle

AU - Herring, Amy H.

AU - Van Buren, Eric

AU - Van Buren, Scott

AU - Kong, Lan

AU - Mailman, Richard

AU - Huang, Xuemei

PY - 2016/9/1

Y1 - 2016/9/1

N2 - Introduction: Welding fumes contain several metals including manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), and copper (Cu) that at high exposure may co-influence welding-related neurotoxicity. The relationship between brain accumulation of these metals and neuropathology, especially in welders with subclinical exposure levels, is unclear. This study examined the microstructural integrity of basal ganglia (BG) regions in asymptomatic welders using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Methods: Subjects with (n = 43) and without (age- and gender-matched controls; n = 31) history of welding were studied. Occupational questionnaires estimated short-term (HrsW; welding hours and E90; cumulative exposure, past 90 days) and long-term (YrsW; total years welding and ELT; cumulative exposure, lifetime) exposure. Whole blood metal levels (Mn, Fe, and Cu) were obtained. Brain MRI pallidal index (PI), R1 (1/T1), and R2* (1/T2*) were measured to estimate Mn and Fe accumulation in BG [caudate, putamen, and globus pallidus (GP)]. DTI was used to assess BG microstructural differences, and related with exposure measurements. Results: When compared with controls, welders had significantly lower fractional anisotropy (FA) in the GP. In welders, GP FA values showed non-linear relationships to YrsW, blood Mn, and PI. GP FA decreased after a critical level of YrsW or Mn was reached, whereas it decreased with increasing PI values until plateauing at the highest PI values. GP FA, however, did not show any relationship with short-term exposure measurements (HrsW, E90), blood Cu and Fe, or R2* values. Conclusion: GP FA captured microstructural changes associated with chronic low-level Mn exposure, and may serve as a biomarker for neurotoxicity in asymptomatic welders.

AB - Introduction: Welding fumes contain several metals including manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), and copper (Cu) that at high exposure may co-influence welding-related neurotoxicity. The relationship between brain accumulation of these metals and neuropathology, especially in welders with subclinical exposure levels, is unclear. This study examined the microstructural integrity of basal ganglia (BG) regions in asymptomatic welders using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Methods: Subjects with (n = 43) and without (age- and gender-matched controls; n = 31) history of welding were studied. Occupational questionnaires estimated short-term (HrsW; welding hours and E90; cumulative exposure, past 90 days) and long-term (YrsW; total years welding and ELT; cumulative exposure, lifetime) exposure. Whole blood metal levels (Mn, Fe, and Cu) were obtained. Brain MRI pallidal index (PI), R1 (1/T1), and R2* (1/T2*) were measured to estimate Mn and Fe accumulation in BG [caudate, putamen, and globus pallidus (GP)]. DTI was used to assess BG microstructural differences, and related with exposure measurements. Results: When compared with controls, welders had significantly lower fractional anisotropy (FA) in the GP. In welders, GP FA values showed non-linear relationships to YrsW, blood Mn, and PI. GP FA decreased after a critical level of YrsW or Mn was reached, whereas it decreased with increasing PI values until plateauing at the highest PI values. GP FA, however, did not show any relationship with short-term exposure measurements (HrsW, E90), blood Cu and Fe, or R2* values. Conclusion: GP FA captured microstructural changes associated with chronic low-level Mn exposure, and may serve as a biomarker for neurotoxicity in asymptomatic welders.

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