The role of magnesium as antithrombotic therapy

Wien Med Wochenschr. 2000;150(15-16):343-7.


Meta-analysis of previous relatively small clinical trials, comparing intravenous magnesium with placebo in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients, mainly without thrombolytic therapy, demonstrated that magnesium reduced in-hospital mortality by 19%, mainly by reducing the incidence of serious arrhythmias and left ventricular heart failure by one quarter. These findings have led us to hypothesize that magnesium treatment inhibits platelet-dependent thrombosis in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). In a prospective, double blind, and crossover study, we have recently demonstrated that oral magnesium treatment inhibits thrombus formation measured by platelet-dependent thrombosis in stable CAD patients by 35%. This effect appears to be independent of platelet aggregation and activation, and is additive to that of aspirin. High dose of intravenous magnesium can inhibit thrombus formation and is associated with suppression of platelet aggregation. Magnesium treatment can dose-dependently inhibit a wide variety of agonists of platelet aggregation, such as thromboxane A2 and stimulate prostacyclin synthesis. The molecular basis for these effects is likely modulated via reduction of intracellular calcium mobilization. Hypomagnesemia also selectively impaired the release of nitric oxide from the coronary endothelium. We have recently demonstrated that oral magnesium treatment can improve endothelium-dependent vasodilation in CAD patients with optimal lipid values. Because nitric oxide is a potent endogenous vasodilator and inhibitor of platelet aggregation and adhesion, hypomagnesemia could promote vasoconstriction and coronary thrombosis in hypomagnesemic states. These findings suggest a potential mechanism whereby magnesium may beneficially alter outcomes in CAD patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Coronary Disease / complications
  • Coronary Disease / drug therapy*
  • Coronary Disease / physiopathology
  • Coronary Thrombosis / physiopathology
  • Coronary Thrombosis / prevention & control*
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / pharmacology
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / administration & dosage
  • Magnesium / pharmacology
  • Magnesium / therapeutic use*
  • Magnesium Deficiency / complications*
  • Magnesium Deficiency / drug therapy
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality
  • Myocardial Infarction / prevention & control*


  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Magnesium