Hypomagnesemia due to renal disease of unknown etiology

Am J Med. 1975 Dec;59(6):873-81. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(75)90481-7.


A young man, investigated because of tetanic convulsions and arthritic pains, was shown to have hypomagnesemia, hypermagnesuria, hypokalemia, hypercalciuria, progressive nephrocalcinosis and chondrocalcinosis. In this syndrome, renal function was normal except for the abnormal excretion of electrolytes. Renal sodium conservation was normal. Light and electron microscopic studies of renal biopsy specimens showed the presence of several abnormal tubules. Immunofluorescent staining showed deposits of immunoglobulins in the glomeruli and tubules. Magnesium therapy was started under balance study conditions and resulted in decreased calciuria and complete remission of subjective symptoms. The progression of nephrocalcinosis was halted, and there was some decrease in the intra-articular calcium deposits after two years of continuous oral magnesium therapy. The administration of spironolactone decreased urinary magnesium but did not normalize it, whereas triamterene administration was without effect in this respect. The results of the morphologic and electrolyte balance studies are discussed. The patient was found to exhibit several features which have not been described before in connection with hypomagnesemia of unknown origin.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Humans
  • Kidney / immunology
  • Kidney / ultrastructure
  • Kidney Diseases / complications*
  • Kidney Diseases / etiology
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Kidney Tubules / pathology
  • Kidney Tubules / physiopathology
  • Magnesium / blood*
  • Magnesium / therapeutic use
  • Magnesium Deficiency / etiology*
  • Male
  • Nephrocalcinosis / complications
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance


  • Magnesium