By Hans R. Larsen MSc ChE
Canadian researchers have done a meta-analysis of studies dealing with the benefits of intravenous administration of magnesium in the acute treatment of atrial fibrillation. They found that effective rate control (reduction in heart rate to below 100 bpm) and/or conversion to normal sinus rhythm was achieved in 84% of patients given magnesium as compared to 53% given a placebo. Seven trials used calcium channel blockers or placebo as controls. In these trials 69% of patients in the magnesium group experienced relief as compared to 53% in the control group. The researchers conclude that intravenous magnesium is an effective and safe strategy for the acute treatment of afib.
PACE, Vol. 29, April 2006, Suppl 1, Abstract #36, p. S19 (European Cardiac Arrhythmia Society, 2nd Annual Congress)
Magnesium Sulfate For Rate Control in AF
Davey, MJ and Teubner, D. A randomized controlled trial of magnesium sulfate in addition to usual care, for rate control in atrial fibrillation. Annals of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 45, April 2005, pp. 347-53