ISSN 2398-2942      

Blood biochemistry: magnesium

icanis

Overview

  • Magnesium (Mg) is the second most abundant intracellular cation (after potassium).
  • Magnesium is a cofactor for the sodium potassium ATPase pump and maintains electrical excitability in muscles and nerves.
  • Most of the total Mg stores are found within bone (around 60%) with the remainder located intracellularly in soft tissue.
  • Plasma/serum Mg may represent <1% of total body magnesium and therefore serum levels may not accurately reflect total body stores.
  • Approximately 30% of serum Mg is bound to proteins (albumin and globulin).
  • Ionized Mg (iMg2+) is the biologically active fraction that is essential for regulating intracellular homeostasis.
  • Intracellular magnesium is involved with calcium and potassium balance.
  • Magnesium balance is controlled by gastrointestinal tract absorption (mainly in jejunum and ileum) and by renal excretion.
  • Magnesium imbalance appears to be a common occurrence in critically ill animals.
  • Decreased magnesium can result in refractory hypokalemia Hypokalemia due to intracellular potassium loss.
  • Hypomagnesemia Hypomagnesemia may cause hypocalcemia Hypocalcemia through reduced parathyroid hormone secretion and can lead to seizures.
  • Decreased magnesium can lead to hyperexcitability, collapse and seizures.

Sampling

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Tests

Methodologies

  • Ion-selective electrode (ionized magnesium).
  • Colorimetric assay.
  • Kinetic assay.
  • Atomic absorption spectrophotometry.

Availability

  • Not routinely offered in chemistry profiles. Usually must request separately.

Technique (intrinsic) limitations

  • Other laboratory and clinical findings.

Result Data

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Mathews K (2006) Magnesium. In: Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Manual. 2nd edn. Eds: Mathews K. Lifelearn Inc, CN. pp 403-405.
  • Hansen B (2000) Disorders of Magnesium. In: Fluid Therapy in Small Animal Practice. 2nd edn. Eds: DiBartola S P. W B Saunders, USA. pp175-186.

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