What is the role of protein, potassium, phosphate, and calcium measurement in the diagnosis of hypomagnesemia?

Updated: Oct 30, 2020
  • Author: Tibor Fulop, MD, PhD, FACP, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Because extracellular magnesium is protein bound, the patient's protein status is an important consideration in interpreting magnesium levels.

Hypomagnesemia contributes to hypokalemia. This condition may be due to a hypomagnesemia-induced decline in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and the subsequent removal of ATP inhibition of the renal outer medullary K (ROMK) channels responsible for secretion in the thick ascending limb of Henle and collecting duct. In addition, hypophosphatemia has been found in patients with hypomagnesemia.

Hypocalcemia is caused by magnesium depletion, but the reason is not known. Some studies link hypomagnesemia to decreased parathyroid hormone levels and end-organ resistance to parathyroid hormone. Alterations in vitamin D metabolism can contribute to hypocalcemia.

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