Magnesium in chronic kidney disease: challenges and opportunities

Blood Purif. 2010;29(3):280-92. doi: 10.1159/000276665. Epub 2010 Jan 21.


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in patients with chronic kidney disease, which is partly explained by the fact that 40-70% of patients receiving dialysis have significant coronary artery disease. Recent clinical studies have shown that lower serum magnesium (Mg) levels are associated with vascular calcification and cardiovascular mortality among patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). On the other hand, hypermagnesemia inhibits parathyroid hormone secretion, which is considered an important independent risk factor for vascular calcification, left ventricular hypertrophy and mortality in ESRD patients. Finally, increasing evidence points towards a link between Mg and cardiovascular disease, even in subjects without chronic kidney disease. The purpose of this review was to critically review the current literature examining the effects of plasma Mg levels on cardiovascular disease and parathyroid hormone homeostasis in ESRD, and renal transplant patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology
  • Atherosclerosis / etiology
  • Calcinosis / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Carotid Arteries / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression Therapy / adverse effects
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / drug therapy
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Magnesium / blood*
  • Parathyroid Hormone / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Peritoneal Dialysis, Continuous Ambulatory / adverse effects
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / blood*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications
  • Tunica Intima / pathology
  • Tunica Media / pathology


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Magnesium