Why should magnesium levels be measured with other electrolytes?

Updated: Oct 30, 2020
  • Author: Tibor Fulop, MD, PhD, FACP, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Although abnormally low levels of serum magnesium typically occur in adult patients hospitalized for prolonged periods, failure to include hypomagnesemia in the differential diagnosis for a similarly affected pediatric patient may be disastrous, because hypomagnesemia is treated readily.

Because hypomagnesemia can masquerade as other electrolyte imbalances, obtain magnesium levels with other electrolytes (eg, potassium, calcium, phosphorus) when ordering laboratory tests.


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