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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1985 Feb;5(2 Pt 1):280-9.

Magnesium deficiency and myocardial infarct size in the dog.


Although epidemiologic data suggest a relation between myocardial infarction death rates and dietary intake of magnesium, there are no experimental studies reflecting such a phenomenon. It is now reported that beagle dogs kept on a severely magnesium-deficient diet for 100 days develop a larger infarct than do control animals. Control animals were either kept on the same diet as experimental animals with supplementary magnesium, or were fed standard dog chow. The control groups were indistinguishable and were therefore pooled. Infarction was produced by occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery for 1 hour followed by 4 hours of reperfusion. Slices of ventricular myocardium, 5 mm thick, were made from the apex to the base. Ischemic muscle, considered to be the muscle at risk, was delineated by a microsphere-autoradiographic method, and necrotic muscle was delineated by tetrazolium stain. Involved areas were measured by planimetry, and these integrated to produce the volume. The volumes of muscle made ischemic were similar in the experimental and control groups. The volumes of necrotic muscle, however, were less in the control than in the experimental animals. The ratio of necrotic muscle volume to the volume of muscle at risk was greater in the experimental animals than in the control animals by a factor of almost two (p less than 0.004). These experiments indicate that, under the conditions used here, animals fed a magnesium-deficient diet develop a larger infarct than do control animals. This could occur either through decreased postocclusion collateral flow or increased vulnerability of the ischemic muscle in magnesium-deficient animals. Although these experiments cannot rule out an effect on postocclusion collateral flow, they do suggest that electrolyte abnormalities related to magnesium deficiency are of such a character as to increase myocardial vulnerability to injury.

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