Ionized calcium and magnesium: The effect of septic shock in the baboon

D. Trunkey, M. A. Carpenter, James W Holcroft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Ionized calcium (Ca2+) and ionized magnesium (Mg2+) are important intracellular 'second messengers' and control excitation-contraction coupling, excitation-secretion, oxidative phosphorylation, and mitochondrial acid-base balance. The present study examines the effect of septic shock on serum (Ca2+) and (Mg2+). Five adult female baboons were subjected to live E. coli septic shock and then resuscitated. Three baboons served as controls. Ca2+ was measured by the Orion SS-20 flow-through calcium electrode and Mg2+ calculated by the method of Killen. Other measurements included: total calcium, bound calcium, total magnesium, bound magnesium, phosphate, albumin, globulin, hematocrit, and total protein. This study shows that there are significant disturbances of Ca2+ and Mg 2+ during septic shock in the baboon. These disturbances may in part explain cellular dysfunction during shock including: decreased myocardial contractility, inappropriate secretion of endocrine cells, decrease in oxidative phosphorylation, and mitochondrial acidosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-172
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trauma
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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