Seizures Related to Hypomagnesemia: A Case Series and Review of the Literature

Child Neurol Open. 2016 Oct 27:3:2329048X16674834. doi: 10.1177/2329048X16674834. eCollection 2016 Jan-Dec.


Objective: Childhood seizures have various nonneurological etiologies. The patient's magnesium levels should be measured when evaluating afebrile seizures. The purpose of the current case series is to describe a systematic approach for diagnosing hypomagnesemia using 3 recent patient cases.

Methods: This case series describes 3 patients with unprovoked hypomagnesemia-associated seizures. The authors describe the differential diagnosis, pathophysiology, and the workup of hypomagnesemia-associated seizures.

Results: Hypomagnesemia contributed to the cause of the seizures in all 3 cases. Various causes of hypomagnesemia were investigated, including genetic etiologies. All 3 patients were maintained at a magnesium level >0.65 mmol/L, which improved or eliminated the seizures.

Significance: Magnesium levels should always be measured when trying to determine the etiology of seizures. Hypomagnesemia and afebrile seizures should be treated with the goal of maintaining a magnesium concentration >0.65 mmol/L. Although rare, genetic causes of hypomagnesemia should be considered, once common causes of hypomagnesemia are ruled out.

Keywords: Galloway-Mowat syndrome; TRPM6; hypomagnesemia with secondary hypocalcemia; isolated recessive hypomagnesemia; seizures.