Diagnostic Highlights

Test

Normal Result

Abnormality with Condition

Explanation

Serum magnesium

Serum calcium: total calcium, including free ionized calcium and bound calcium

1.7-2.7 mg/dL (1.4-2.3 mEq/L) 8.6-10.3 mg/dL

<1.7 mg/dL <8.5 mg/dL

Deficit of magnesium ions

Deficit of calcium below normal levels in the extracellular fluid compartment

Serum ionized calcium: unbound calcium; level unaffected by albumin level

4.5-5.1 mg/dL

<4.5 mg/dL

Ionized calcium is approximately 46%-50% of circulating calcium; calcium available for enzymatic reactions and neuromuscular function

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

Normal PQRST pattern

Prolonged PR and QT Intervals; patients on digitalis may have atrial and ventricular dysrhythmias

Magnesium deficit leads to alterations in generation and conduction of the action potential

Other Tests: Serum potassium level, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, glucose

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