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Abstract

Monitoring and measuring magnesium (Mg) values are essential to prevent the development of numerous complications in perioperative medicine and critically ill patients. Although previous studies suggest that measuring free ionized magnesium (iMg) is more useful for estimating Mg status, clinicians currently rely on measurement of total serum magnesium to determine if supplemental magnesium is needed. In this review, we analyzed the recent literature to decide whether it is better to measure ionized serum Mg or total serum Mg when assessing magnesium status, whether iMg predicts clinical outcome, and what are the difficulties in measuring serum iMg levels in intensive care patients and perioperative medicine.

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