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Effect of magnesium on nerve conduction velocity during regular dialysis treatment
  1. Laura W. Fleming,
  2. J. A. R. Lenman,
  3. W. K. Stewart
  1. Department of Medicine, Dundee University, Dundee
  2. The Renal Unit, Maryfield Hospital, Dundee


    Serial nerve conduction velocities in the peroneal and ulnar nerves have been measured in 10 patients on regular dialysis treatment over a three year period. Each patient alternated between phases on dialysis with magnesium-containing dialysate (1·5-1·7 m-equiv/l.) and phases on `magnesium-free' dialysate (0·2 m-equiv/l.). Plasma magnesium concentrations were high both pre- and post-dialysis during magnesium-containing dialysis, and normal to low on magnesium-free dialysis. All patients had defects in nerve conduction, mainly asymptomatic. Increases in nerve conduction velocity coincided with magnesium-free dialysis, and decreases occurred when the patients reverted to magnesium-containing dialysate. The significance of the correlation by the sign test was P<0·0005. It is concluded that extracellular magnesium levels can influence the rate of nerve conduction in vivo.

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