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J Asthma. 2000 Sep;37(6):489-96.

Assessment of magnesium status in patients with bronchial asthma.

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First Department of Internal Medicine, Kobe University School of Medicine, Japan.


To elucidate the contribution of magnesium to bronchial hyperreactivity in patients with stable bronchial asthma, magnesium concentrations in serum (S-Mg), erythrocytes (R-Mg), and lymphocytes (L-Mg) were measured in 25 patients with bronchial asthma (BA group) and 9 age-matched healthy subjects (control group). A parenteral magnesium loading test, a continuous low-dose magnesium infusion of 0.2 mEq/kg over 4 hr, was performed in 10 of 25 asthmatic patients and in the control group. R-Mg was significantly lower in the BA group than in the control group (4.96 +/- 0.47, 6.13 +/- 0.62 mEq/L, p < 0.001, respectively), although S-Mg (2.4 +/- 0.1, 2.4 +/- 0.2 mg/dL) and L-Mg (1.28 +/- 0.26, 1.15 +/- 0.13 microg/mg/protein) were not significantly different between the two groups. Magnesium deficiency in total body stores was revealed in 40% of patients (4/10 patients) and 11% of control subjects (1/9 subjects) by parenteral magnesium loading test. The ratio of magnesium retention to urinary excretion through the parenteral magnesium loading test showed a significant inverse correlation with R-Mg (r = -0.78, p < 0.01). Bronchial reactivity to inhaled methacholine had a significant inverse correlation with R-Mg (r = -0.42, p < 0.05). We conclude that 40% of asthmatic patients demonstrated magnesium deficiency, and that the low magnesium concentration in erythrocytes reflects decreased magnesium stores in patients with bronchial asthma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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