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Monday 01 October 2001

Magnesium concentration in plasma, leukocytes and urine of children with intermittent asthma.

By: Mircetic RN, Dodig S, Raos M, Petres B, Cepelak I.

Clin Chim Acta 2001 Oct;312(1-2):197-203

BACKGROUND: Magnesium (Mg) is involved in numerous physiological functions, including protein folding, intracellular signalling and enzyme catalysis. It acts as a smooth muscle relaxant. We decided to test changes of total Mg concentration in plasma, leukocytes and urine of 16 healthy children and 26 patients with intermittent asthma aged 3 to 14 years. METHODS: Samples were taken on the first day of broncho-obstruction and five days after the acute attack. During this period, patients were under salbutamol therapy. RESULTS: Plasma Mg concentration in patients increased by about 40% (first day 0.58+/-0.05 mmol Mg/l and five days later 0.64+/-0.04 mmol Mg/l) compared with healthy children (0.42+/-0.04 mmol Mg/l). Leukocyte Mg concentrations showed significant changes. On the first day of broncho-obstruction, Mg in leukocytes significantly decreased by about 60% (1.16+/-0.31 mmol Mg/g protein) compared to healthy children (3.04+/-0.68 mmol Mg/g protein). Five days later, Mg values significantly increased (3.28+/-1.09 mmol Mg/g protein) and almost reached the values of the healthy group. Mg concentration in urine statistically decreased by about 30% (0.55+/-0.06 mmol Mg/mmol creatinine) on the first day of broncho-obstruction compared to healthy children (0.75+/-0.05 mmol Mg/mmol creatinine). Five days after the acute attack, Mg concentration in patients' urine (0.73+/-0.07 mmol Mg/mmol creatinine) was close to values of healthy children. CONCLUSION: The results obtained indicate that the intracellular measurement of Mg concentration is relevant for estimation of magnesium concentration in the human organism. Hence, determination of Mg concentration in leukocytes may be used in evaluation of asthmatic pathology.

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