Background and aim: Intracellular magnesium (icMg) depletion may coexist with normomagnesemia. Mg deficiency (serum and/or intracellular) and decreased heart rate variability (HRV) are common in heart failure (HF). Since both are predictors of poor prognosis, it was of interest to evaluate the effect of Mg supplementation on HRV in patients with HF.
Methods and results: We investigated the effect of Mg administration on HRV in normomagnesemic patients with systolic HF. HRV, serum Mg and icMg were determined before and after 5-week 300 mg/day Mg citrate treatment in 16 patients (group 1). The control group included 16 Mg-non-treated HF patients (group 2). HRV was determined by a non-linear dynamics analysis, derived from the chaos theory, which calculates HRV-correlation dimension (HRV-CD). After 5 weeks, serum Mg (mmol/l) increased more significantly in group 1 (from 0.78+/-0.04 to 0.89+/-0.06, p<0.001), than in group 2 (from 0.79+/-0.07 to 0.84+/-0.06, p=0.042). IcMg and HRV-CD increased significantly only in group 1 (from 59+/-7 to 66+/-9 mmol/g cell protein, p=0.025, and from 3.47+/-0.42 to 3.94+/-0.36, p<0.001, respectively). In group 2, the differences in the respective parameters were 63+/-12 to 66+/-9 mmol/g cell protein (p=0.7) and 3.59+/-0.42 to 3.55+/-0.4 (p=0.8).
Conclusion: Mg administration to normomagnesemic patients with systolic HF increases serum Mg, icMg and HRV-CD. Increasing of HRV by Mg supplementation may prove beneficial to HF patients.