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Hemodial Int. 2009 Oct;13(4):453-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1542-4758.2009.00364.x. Epub 2009 May 12.

Long-term effects of magnesium carbonate on coronary artery calcification and bone mineral density in hemodialysis patients: a pilot study.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado, USA.


Observational data suggest that elevated magnesium levels in dialysis patients may prevent vascular calcification and in vitro magnesium can prevent hydroxyapatite crystal growth. However, the effects of magnesium on vascular calcification and bone mineral density have not been studied prospectively. Seven chronic hemodialysis patients participated in this open label, prospective pilot study to evaluate the effects of a magnesium-based phosphate binder on coronary artery calcification (CAC) scores and vertebral bone mineral density (V-BMD) in patients with baseline CAC scores >30. Magnesium carbonate/calcium carbonate (elemental Mg: 86 mg/elemental Ca 100 mg) was administered as the principal phosphate binder for a period of 18 months and changes in CAC and V-BMD were measured at baseline, 6, 12, and 18 months. Serum magnesium levels averaged 2.2+/-0.4 mEq/L (range: 1.3-3.9 mEq/L). Phosphorus levels (4.5+/-0.6 mg/dL) were well controlled throughout the 18 months study. Electron beam computed tomography results demonstrated a small not statically significant increase in absolute CAC scores, no significant change in median percent change, and a small none significant change in V-BMD. Magnesium may have a favorable effect on CAC. The long-term effect on bone mineral density remains unclear. Larger studies are needed to confirm these findings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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