Magnesium depletion in clinical practice is mainly related to loop diuretics and thiazides. Among patients treated with diuretics more than 1/3 exhibit hypomagnesa. Arrhythmias and sudden death attributed to magnesium depletion could be prevented by Mg administration. Magnesium deficiency in experimental animals promotes atherosclerotic lesions whereas this ion is involved in various stages of myocardial damage after experimental coronary artery occlusion. In humans magnesium administration in the first 24 hours of myocardial infarction was related to beneficial effects in first year mortality rate. Nevertheless more evidence from clinical investigation is needed for permanent conclutions.
Keywords: arrhythmia; coronary heart disease; electrolyte disorders; hypomagnesemia; magnesium; sudden death.