Key words Hypomagnesaemia
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Primary infantile hypomagnesaemia is an infrequent cause of neonatal hypocalcaemic seizures but one that responds well to magnesium supplementation. We describe a 22-year-old male, first reported at 4 months of age, who is currently free of neurological deficit but has suffered from intermittent hypomagnesaemic tetany and chronic diarrhoea due to large oral magnesium supplements. Hypothesizing that modest hypercalcaemia might prevent the tetany, we conducted a trial of 5 μg/day 1,25(OH)2D3 over 5 days. Despite the resultant increase in calcium, he developed tetany with the reduction of magnesium intake and decline of serum magnesium from 0.63 to 0.39 mmol/l (normal 〉0.65 mmol/l). After 1,25(OH)2D3 was stopped and the parenteral magnesium injections suspended, 33% of his usual oral supplement was given instead by continuous nasogastric infusion and serum magnesium rose to 0.60 mmol/l. This regimen was better tolerated because of decreased gastrointestinal side-effects and freedom from parenteral injections. We observed that 1,25(OH)2D3 supplements do not promote magnesium retention nor does the resultant hypercalcaemia prevent hypomagnesaemic tetany. Conclusion Continuous nocturnal nasogastric infusion may be considered in lieu of parenteral therapy in primary infantile hypomagnesaemia.
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