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Rivista di Medicina Interna
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Panminerva Medica 2001 Settembre;43(3):177-209
Hypomagnesemia. A review of pathophysiological, clinical and therapeutical aspects
Iannello S., Belfiore F.
From the Institute of Internal Medicine and Internal Specialties, Chair of Internal Medicine, University of Catania Medical School, Garibaldi Hospital, Catania, Italy
The aim of this paper is to discuss, on the basis of an extensive literature review, the role of magnesium (Mg) in health and disease. Mg is an essential cation playing a crucial role in many enzyme systems. Quantitative Mg body stores are regulated by metabolic and hormonal effects on gastrointestinal absorption and renal excretion. Mg is a smooth muscle relaxant, dilates coronary arteries and peripheral vessels, exerts antiarrhythmic effects, may have a permissive effect on catecholamine actions and can play a role in various thrombogenic conditions. Today, hypomagnesemia has become a recognized medical occurrence which may be associated with many different diseases, either genetic or acquired. Mg deficiency is one of the most frequent electrolyte abnormalities in clinical practice, but it is probably the most underdiagnosed one. Clinical manifestations of hypomagnesemia may begin insidiously or with dramatic suddennes. A large part of the population (especially aged subjects) may have an inadequate Mg intake and a chronic latent Mg deficiency. Routine inclusion of serum Mg analysis in the electrolyte panel represents a continued need to recognize hypomagnesemia and to treat Mg-depleted patients. New clinical studies on Mg deficiency are necessary to ascertain the usefulness and cost-effectiveness of Mg replacement therapy.