Disorders of Calcium, Phosphorous, and Magnesium in the Newborn
The vast majority of calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium in the body is stored in the bone; hence these minerals are referred to as the “bone minerals.” However, a portion of each of these minerals resides in the intracellular and extracellular spaces. They have important roles in critical physiological processes, including transport across cell membranes, enzyme activation and inhibition, regulation of intracellular metabolic pathways, and secretion and activity of hormones. These minerals are also involved in protein synthesis, maintaining membrane integrity, muscle contractility, neuromuscular excitation, nerve conduction, coagulation, and energy metabolism. Additionally, phosphorous is an important constituent of nucleic acids and cell membranes.
In the normal newborn nursery, symptoms of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous abnormalities are relatively uncommon and often nonspecific; therefore it is important to recognize infants at risk for such conditions and treat them when present as the complications of such disorders can have serious consequences.
KeywordsCalcium Magnesium Phosphorous Bone minerals Hypocalcemia Hypermagnesemia
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