Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Crit Care Clin. 2001 Jan;17(1):155-73, viii.

Hypomagnesemic disorders.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, 4th Floor Offices, Kent County Hospital, 455 Tollgate Road, Warwick, RI 02886, USA.


Adequate magnesium stores are vitally important for life. Critically ill patients will almost always have diminished levels of circulating magnesium, and this predisposes them to a variety of adverse effects, some life threatening. The causes of hypomagnesemia are many and varied, but in the critically ill, losses from the kidneys, often secondary to medications and from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, predominate. The measurement of magnesium is not straightforward, although many clinicians are now switching to the use of ionized magnesium from ion selective electrodes. The use of supplemental magnesium in acute flares of asthma has some support in medical literature, especially for those patients with severe disease who fail traditional therapy. Magnesium holds the preeminent position in the treatment of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia in the minds of most obstetricians, who have decades of experience showing it to be both effective and safe. Magnesium is clearly useful for certain types of ventricular tachycardia, and probably assists in the treatment of several types of supraventricular tachycardia. Its role in acute myocardial ischemia is less certain, although there is no benefit once reperfusion therapy has already been carried out. Finally, the role of magnesium in the treatment of acute cerebral insults is an exciting area of active investigation with initial studies suggesting much promise.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center