Hypomagnesaemia of hereditary renal origin

Pediatr Nephrol. 1987 Jul;1(3):465-72. doi: 10.1007/BF00849255.


Cases of hypomagnesaemia of hereditary renal origin represent at least three different congenital disorders of tubular reabsorption of magnesium (Mg). Isolated familial hypomagnesaemia has been reported in a heterogeneous group of patients and an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance has often been found to be present. Familial hypokalaemia-hypomagnesaemia, inherited as an autosomal recessive trait, has been reported in 17 patients and we now describe 3 additional cases. Hypomagnesaemia is accompanied by hypokalaemia, metabolic alkalosis, hypocalciuria and moderate sodium chloride wasting. Titration of renal Mg reabsorption indicates the presence of a low threshold but a normal Tm. The inherited defect is probably situated at the level of the distal convoluted tubule and mimics the therapeutic effect of thiazides. This condition is frequently confused with Bartter's syndrome. Familial hypomagnesaemia-hypercalciuria, also inherited as an autosomal recessive trait, has been reported in at least 15 patients and we now add 3 new cases. Hypomagnesaemia is always accompanied by hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis. Ocular abnormalities such as myopia and horizontal nystagmus are often present. Hypermagnesiuria is of a greater degree than that observed in the previous entity and reflects a low Tm of Mg reabsorption. The defect must be situated at the level of the ascending limb of the loop of Henle and affects the transport of both calcium and Mg but not of sodium and chloride. This condition has not been clearly separated from hereditary distal renal tubular acidosis in the literature.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / blood
  • Kidney Diseases / genetics*
  • Magnesium / blood*


  • Magnesium