Journal of trace elements in medicine and biology : organ of the Society for Minerals and Trace Elements (GMS)

Urine as a material for evaluation of exposure to manganese in methcathinone users.

PMID 24867657


Chronic exposure even to low doses of manganese may lead to development of neurological syndrome similar to parkinsonism. The aim of this research is to assess the possibility of manganese poisoning based on the level of metal in the urine of long-term methcathinone users from Poland. Graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy (GFAAS) was used to determine manganese in urine, while the detection of the psychoactive drugs was performed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Results of survey on longitudinal patterns of drug use showed that users of traditional illicit drugs now turn to cheaper alternatives, such as methcathinone. Parkinsonian features were observed in almost half of methcathinone users. The subjects had a higher mean level of Mn in their urine (8.68±9.27 μg L(-1)) than the controls (4.27±1.91 μg L(-1)). The presence of numerous psychoactive substances (in unchanged forms and their metabolites) was confirmed in all of the samples, with only one exception. The elevated level of manganese in urine (in 29.2% of patients) can be used as a primary marker of recent methcathinone administration, especially in the case of long time intravenous drug users where blood sampling is complicated.