Role of dietary magnesium deficiency in the pressor and arrhythmogenic response to epinephrine in the intact dog

Am Heart J. 1994 Jan;127(1):96-102. doi: 10.1016/0002-8703(94)90514-2.


The effect of dietary magnesium deficiency on the pressor and arrhythmogenic responses to epinephrine was investigated in 19 dogs maintained either on a normal diet (11 dogs) or a diet deficient in magnesium (8 dogs). Magnesium-deficient dogs had significantly lower serum magnesium levels than the control dogs on a normal diet. Magnesium-deficient dogs showed an increased pressor sensitivity to epinephrine as determined by the dose of epinephrine required to cause a maximal pressor response (3.4 micrograms/kg/min compared to 13.4 micrograms/kg/min, p < 0.05). Magnesium-deficient dogs also had a significantly lower threshold dose for ventricular premature beats (0.8 microgram/kg/min compared to 2.7 micrograms/kg/min, p < 0.05). Acute administration of magnesium sulfate restored pressor sensitivity and ventricular premature beat threshold to normal levels in the magnesium-deficient dogs. Threshold dose for ventricular tachycardia beat was similar in both normal and magnesium-deficient dogs, and threshold was raised significantly in both groups by acute administration of magnesium.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Cardiac Complexes, Premature / chemically induced
  • Cardiac Complexes, Premature / etiology*
  • Cardiac Complexes, Premature / prevention & control
  • Dogs
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Epinephrine / pharmacology*
  • Magnesium Deficiency / complications*
  • Magnesium Deficiency / physiopathology
  • Magnesium Sulfate / therapeutic use
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / chemically induced
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / etiology*
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / prevention & control


  • Magnesium Sulfate
  • Epinephrine