Serum magnesium levels in symptomatic atrial fibrillation and their relation to rhythm control by intravenous digoxin

Charles DeCarli, Gary Sprouse, John C. LaRosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Scopus citations


To study the effect of hypomagnesemia on control of atrial fibrillation (AF), serum magnesium levels were determined in 45 consecutive patients with symptomatic AF; 20% were hypomagnesemic (serum magnesium less than 1.5 mEq/liter). In a blinded treatment protocol, hypomagnesemic patients required twice the amount of intravenous digoxin to effect control of AF (p < 0.05). Underlying diagnoses, blood chemistries and the use of other medications that could affect digoxin therapy were similar for the 2 groups. Diuretic therapy before inclusion into the study was not significantly associated with hypomagnesemia. Thus, hypomagnesemia is common among patients with symptomatic AF. Moreover, it appears to interfere with the effect of intravenous digoxin on AF. These results suggest that monitoring of serum magnesium and, where necessary, replacement of magnesium deficiency may be beneficial in patients with symptomatic AF for whom digoxin therapy is being contemplated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)956-959
Number of pages4
JournalThe American journal of cardiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Apr 15 1986
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this