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Clinical manifestations of magnesium depletion

Alan S L Yu, MB, BChir
Sri G Yarlagadda, MD
Section Editor
Stanley Goldfarb, MD
Deputy Editor
Albert Q Lam, MD


Hypomagnesemia is a common problem, occurring in nearly 12 percent of hospitalized patients [1]. A higher incidence, as much as 60 to 65 percent, has been found among intensive care unit patients [2].

Symptomatic magnesium depletion is often associated with multiple biochemical abnormalities such as hypokalemia, hypocalcemia, and metabolic alkalosis. As a result, it is often difficult to ascribe specific clinical manifestations solely to hypomagnesemia.

This topic reviews the clinical manifestations of magnesium depletion. The causes, evaluation, and treatment of magnesium depletion are discussed elsewhere. (See "Causes of hypomagnesemia" and "Evaluation and treatment of hypomagnesemia".)


The major clinical manifestations of hypomagnesemia include:

Neuromuscular manifestations, including neuromuscular hyperexcitability (eg, tremor, tetany, convulsions), weakness, apathy, delirium, and coma. (See 'Neuromuscular' below.)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Aug 23, 2017.
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