Parenteral magnesium tolerance testing in the evaluation of magnesium deficiency

Magnesium. 1985;4(2-3):137-47.


Magnesium deficiency is a common clinical condition, frequently present even with normal serum magnesium (S-Mg) concentrations. We have studied retention of a low-dose (0.2 mEq/kg lean body weight), intravenously administered magnesium load in 6 hypomagnesemic patients and 18 normomagnesemic alcoholics as compared with 16 normal subjects. Both normomagnesemic and hypomagnesemic subjects retained significantly greater amounts of the administered magnesium than did the normal subjects. In patients who were restudied following parenteral magnesium repletion, retention of the magnesium load normalized. We conclude that increased retention of a magnesium load is a more sensitive index of magnesium deficiency than is the S-Mg concentration, and suggest that low-dose magnesium tolerance testing be used more frequently as a clinical tool in the evaluation of states of normomagnesemic magnesium deficiency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcoholism / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Magnesium Deficiency / blood*
  • Magnesium Deficiency / etiology
  • Magnesium Deficiency / urine
  • Magnesium* / blood
  • Magnesium* / urine
  • Malabsorption Syndromes / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Magnesium