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The Role of Magnesium in the Management of Atrial Fibrillation with Rapid Ventricular Rate

Background Atrial fibrillation is currently managed with a variety of rate controlling and antiarrhythmic agents. Often, magnesium is used as adjunctive therapy, however, the benefit it provides in managing Afib with RVR has been debated. This study aimed to determine if IV MgSO4 administration in conjunction with standard therapy provides any synergistic effect in acute and prolonged control of Afib with RVR. Methods This was a retrospective study involving ninety patients with episodes of Afib with RVR during their hospitalization. The treatment group included those that had received magnesium (n=32) along with standard management and the control group (n=58) received only standard management. Heart rates at different time intervals were collected. Dose dependent effects of IV MgSO4 on heart rates were also evaluated. Results Patients that received magnesium had a lower mean heart rate (85 BPM versus 96 BPM, P<0.05) 24 hours after onset of the episode. Also, in the last 16 hours of observation, it appeared that administration of higher levels of magnesium resulted in statistically lower heart rates. In the group of patients that received 2 grams of magnesium, the mean heart rate at 8 hours was 103.4 beats/min and 84.8 beats/min at 24 hours (p<0.01). This same trend was not seen in patients that received 1 gram of magnesium or in the control group. Conclusion Overall, the use of IV MgSO4 as an adjunctive treatment permitted normalization of the heart rate progressively that continued to at least 24 hours.

Credits: Harneet Bhatti, Billal Mohmand, Niranjan Ojha, Christos P Carvounis, Robert L Carhart

Biosense Webster
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Introduction to AFib
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