Magnesium and potassium therapy in multifocal atrial tachycardia

American Heart Journal
L T IseriM A Brodsky

Abstract

Eight patients with multifocal atrial tachycardia received 7 to 12 gm of magnesium sulfate intravenously over a 5-hour period. Potassium supplements were given initially or added later. Initial arterial blood gases showed mean pH 7.48 +/- 0.03, PcO2 39.7 torr, PO2 72 torr, HCO-3 29.8 +/- 4.5 mEq/L, and base excess 6.84 +/- 3.78 mEq/L. Initial serum magnesium correlated well with initial serum potassium. Three patients had subnormal levels of magnesium and potassium. The level of serum magnesium rose with an intravenous injection magnesium and serum potassium levels tended to fall unless they were supplanted with potassium. There were seven patients who retained more than 20 mEq of the infused magnesium. Multifocal atrial tachycardia was successfully converted to sinus rhythm or sinus tachycardia in seven patients. Multifocal atrial rhythm (at slow rate) persisted in one patient. Two patients with falling serum potassium levels required potassium supplements. Results of this study confirm that patients with multifocal atrial tachycardia respond favorably to parenteral magnesium and potassium. We believe that serum magnesium administered together with serum potassium stabilizes the ionic balance of atrial cells and thus prevents ...Continue Reading

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