Impact of magnesium infusion rate on serum magnesium level after magnesium replacement in hospitalized surgical patients with hypomagnesemia: A 11-year retrospective cohort study

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Nichakarn Apiromruck
Somkiat Sunpaweravong
Sasiwimon Iwsakul
Thitima Doungngern


magnesium, hypomagnesemia, intravenous, administration, rate


Background: Hypomagnesemia is common for surgical patients and often requires intravenous (IV) magnesium replacement. Due to the renal handling mechanism of magnesium, prolonging the duration of an IV magnesium infusion has been postulated to improve magnesium retention by reducing the renal excretion of magnesium. However, the evidence supporting this hypothesis is limited. Objective: To determine the change in serum magnesium level after IV magnesium replacement from baseline compared between prolonged (infusion rate < 0.5 g/h) and short infusions (infusion rate < 0.5 g/h) in hospitalized surgical patients. Methods: Medical records of surgical patients with hypomagnesemia who received IV magnesium replacement for three consecutive days and admitted to a university hospital between 2012 and 2022 were reviewed. Patients were separated by the replacement rate into two cohorts: prolonged infusion and short infusion. The primary outcome was a change in serum magnesium per gram administered from the baseline. The secondary outcome was the percentage of patients who achieved an optimal serum magnesium level after IV magnesium replacement. Results: 114 participants were enrolled in the study. The short infusion cohort showed a significantly greater increase in serum magnesium change per gram administered from baseline (0.07 mg/dL/g) compared to the prolonged infusion cohort (0.05 mg/dL/g) (p = 0.04). The difference of serum magnesium level between the two cohorts was 0.013 mg/dL/g of Mg. The percentage of patients who achieved the optimal serum magnesium level after IV magnesium replacement was not different between the two cohorts (prolonged infusion 66.7% vs. short infusion 70.2%; p = 0.84). The change in serum magnesium levels was influenced by renal function and the timing of serum magnesium level measurement after IV magnesium replacement. Conclusion: In hospitalized surgical patients, prolonging the IV magnesium infusion rate to less than 0.5 g/h did not provide additional benefits to increase serum magnesium levels compared to a short infusion rate.

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