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Prognostic importance of the serum magnesium concentration in patients with congestive heart failure.


Gottlieb SS, Baruch L , Kukin ML




J Am Coll Cardiol


Magnesium abnormalities are common in patients with congestive heart failure but the clinical and prognostic significance of an abnormal serum magnesium concentration in this disorder has not been investigated. Therefore, the relation between serum magnesium concentration and the clinical characteristics and long-term outcome of 199 patients with chronic heart failure was evaluated. The serum magnesium concentration was less than 1.6 mEq/liter in 38 patients (19%), within the normal range in 134 patients (67%) and greater than 2.1 mEq/liter in 27 patients (14%). Patients with hypomagnesemia had more frequent ventricular premature complexes and episodes of ventricular tachycardia than did patients with a normal serum magnesium concentration (p less than 0.05). Even though the two groups were similar with respect to severity of heart failure and neurohormonal variables, patients with a low serum magnesium concentration had a significantly worse prognosis during long-term follow-up (45% versus 71% 1 year survival, p less than 0.05). Patients with hypermagnesemia had more severe symptoms, greater neurohormonal activation and worse renal function than did patients with a normal serum magnesium concentration but tended to have fewer ventricular arrhythmias. Hypermagnesemic patients had a worse prognosis than did those with a normal magnesium concentration (37% versus 71% 1 year survival, p less than 0.05). In conclusion, the measurement of serum magnesium concentration provides important clinical and prognostic information in patients with chronic heart failure.

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