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Bol Asoc Med P R. 2013;105(3):17-20.

Magnesium: the forgotten electrolyte.

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1
Department of Medicine and Physiology, UPR School of Medicine, Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Abstract

Magnesium (Mg++), Potassium (K+) and Calcium (CA++) are important electrolytes in keeping a stable electrical status. The purpose of this study was to measure them in critically ill patients.

METHODS:

We evaluated the electrolytes in 28 consecutive patients. Eighteen were females and 10 males with mean age of 62 +/- 5 years.

RESULTS:

The admission diagnosis in 95% of the cases was congestive heart failure. Sixty-four percent of the patients had subnormal values of Mg++, 53% subnormal values of K+, and 28% subnormal values of CA++. Fourteen percent showed lower values of the three electrolytes and 35% only of Mg++ and K+ concomitantly. Twenty-eight percent showed prolonged QTC interval. All patients with prolonged QTC interval had low Mg++ and K+ levels. Twenty five percent of the patients showed atrial fibrillation, 25% ventricular tachycardia, and 3% junctional tachycardia. The ventricular tachycardia group had more electrolyte abnormalities than those with atrial fibrillation. None of the patients received Mg++ replacement during critical management while 50% received K+ replacement.

CONCLUSION:

This data shows physician overlook the Importance of Mg++ and K+ deficiency in critically ill patients.

PMID:
24282915
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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