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Circulation. 1995 Nov 1;92(9):2617-21.

Magnesium sulfate reduces myocardial infarct size when administered before but not after coronary reperfusion in a canine model.

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University of Wisconsin Medical School, Sinai Samaritan Medical Center, Milwaukee 53201-0342, USA.



The role of magnesium in treating acute myocardial infarction (AMI) has been controversial. Several small clinical trials indicate that magnesium may have a role in treating AMI early, whereas the other results suggest that magnesium is of questionable benefit.


We looked at the effect of magnesium on infarct size (IS) when given during a coronary occlusion and after reperfusion. Magnesium sulfate (6-mEq bolus plus 2 mEq/h for 5 hours) was given at 15 or 45 minutes of coronary occlusion or 15 minutes of reperfusion. The left anterior descending coronary artery was occluded for 90 minutes, followed by 300 minutes of reperfusion. IS to area at risk (IS/AR) was measured by planimetry after triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining. Collateral myocardial blood flow was measured with radioactive microspheres. The IS/AR ratio in the control group was 52.3 +/- 19.6% compared with 20.5 +/- 11.7% and 21.3 +/- 6.5% at 15 and 45 minutes of occlusion, respectively (P < .05). There were no significant differences in the reduction in IS at 15 and 45 minutes of occlusion. Although there was a reduction in the IS when magnesium was administered during reperfusion (38.2 +/- 13.4%), it was not statistically significant. There was no significant difference in the AR relative to the total left ventricular weight between the four groups.


The data suggest that magnesium infusion during a coronary occlusion has a significant benefit in reducing the IS in this model. Magnesium may have a beneficial clinical role in AMI, especially if administered before reperfusion as a bolus followed by a constant infusion.

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