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Antiarrhythmic action of pharmacological administration of magnesium in heart failure: a critical review of new data.

Abstract
Congestive heart failure is characterized by contractile dysfunction and frequent complex ventricular ectopy. Despite advances in therapy, mortality from heart failure is substantial, estimated at 10-80 percent per year, and sudden death is common. Magnesium is the second most common intracellular cation, strongly influences cardiac cell membrane function, and is an important catalyst of many enzymatic reactions in the myocyte. Epidemiological studies have implicated magnesium deficit in the genesis of sudden death. Patients with congestive heart failure are predisposed to magnesium deficit for many reasons, including neurohormonal activation, poor gastrointestinal absorption, and drug therapy. Hypomagnesaemia is common in these patients and has been linked to an increased frequency of complex ventricular ectopy. Several early, uncontrolled studies have suggested a beneficial effect of magnesium administration on ventricular arrhythmias in patients with congestive heart failure. Two recent randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trials have shown that both intravenous and oral administration of magnesium chloride results in a significant reduction in the frequency and complexity of ventricular arrhythmias in patients with congestive heart failure. Magnesium administration is well tolerated and serious adverse effects are rare. The potential mechanisms of the antiarrhythmic action of magnesium and limitations of the available data are discussed. The evidence reviewed suggests that serum magnesium concentrations should be monitored and corrected in patients with congestive heart failure. Ventricular arrhythmias may respond to acute intravenous magnesium administration, which should be considered as early therapy. Further study is needed to define magnesium dose and the effect of concomitant potassium administration. A prospective clinical trial is warranted to determine the chronic effects of magnesium administration in patients with heart failure.
AuthorsC A Sueta, J H Patterson, K F Adams Jr
JournalMagnesium research : official organ of the International Society for the Development of Research on Magnesium (Magnes Res) Vol. 8 Issue 4 Pg. 389-401 (Dec 1995) ISSN: 0953-1424 [Print] ENGLAND
PMID8861138 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)
Chemical References
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Diuretics
  • Digoxin
  • Magnesium
Topics
  • Absorption
  • Aged
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents (therapeutic use)
  • Death, Sudden (etiology)
  • Digoxin (adverse effects)
  • Diuretics (adverse effects)
  • Heart Failure (drug therapy, etiology)
  • Humans
  • Kidney Tubules (metabolism)
  • Magnesium (physiology, therapeutic use)
  • Magnesium Deficiency (complications)
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Ventricular Fibrillation (complications, drug therapy)

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