The magnetisation transfer ratio (MTR), a quantitative tissue characteristic, and the pallidal index were measured in the globus pallidus of 37 patients with hepatic cirrhosis and 37 control subjects. The MTR decreased with severity of the disease, as indicated by the serum total bililubin, indocyanine green 15-min retention rate, and plasma ammonia. The pallidal index correlated significantly with haematological parameters, although the correlation coefficients tended to be lower than those between MTR and haematological parameters. This change in MTR corresponded to the results of the manganese chloride experiments. T1 shortening in the pallidum of patients with cirrhosis is presumably caused by paramagnetic effects, and possibly attributed to manganese deposition.