Magnesium in the ICU: Sine qua non

  • F. Esen
  • L. Telci
Conference paper


Magnesium is the fourth most abundant cation in the body and the second most abundant intracellular cation. It activates many of the enzyme systems mainly involved in energy metabolism and acts as a natural calcium antagonist by regulating calcium access into the cell. Although magnesium was considered as the ‘forgotten ion’ for many years, its importance in critical care practice has been highlighted recently. One of the main reasons for this increased interest among critical care clinicians is the reports of a high incidence of hypomagnesemia in patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU); magnesium deficiency has been reported in 20 to 65% of patients in the ICU [1]. Reduction in serum total magnesium on admission to the ICU has been shown to be associated with increased morbidity and mortality [2]. Hypomagnesemia has been implicated in the development of organ dysfunction and the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) in ICU patients [3]. However, there is little guidance related to when magnesium supplementation might be useful for clinicians treating critically ill patients [4].


Traumatic Brain Injury Magnesium Sulfate Cerebral Vasospasm Magnesium Deficiency Magnesium Supplementation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Esen
    • 1
  • L. Telci
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medical Faculty of IstanbulUniversity of IstanbulIstanbulTurkey

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