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Keywords:

  • magnesium;
  • adjunctive;
  • atrial fibrillation

Magnesium (Mg) is an important intracellular ion with cardiac metabolism and electrophysiologic properties. A large percentage of patients with arrhythmias have an intracellular Mg deficiency, which is out of line with serum Mg concentrations, and this may explain the rationale for Mg's benefits as an atrial antiarrhythmic agent. A current limitation of antiarrhythmic therapy is that the potential for cardiac risk offsets some of the benefits of therapy. Mg enhances the balance of benefits to harms by enhancing atrial antiarrhythmic efficacy and reducing antiarrhythmic proarrhythmia potential as well as providing direct antiarrhythmic efficacy when used as monotherapy in patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery.