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Health News Archive 705 - Cardiovascular Health
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Case Report: Parenteral Magnesium for End-Stage Cardiomyopathy

A 57-year-old man came to see me from several hundred miles away with a 15-year history of slowly progressive dilated cardiomyopathy. He was still functioning relatively well, although he did experience shortness of breath after moderate exertion. The patient was advised to take various nutrients that support cardiovascular function, including coenzyme Q10, magnesium, and L-carnitine, to continue seeing his cardiologist, and to check in with me periodically by phone. He was also advised to take a series of weekly intramuscular magnesium injections, but he was unable to find a practitioner in his town willing to administer them.

Two years later, I received a call from the man's wife. Her husband was in the final stage of his disease. He was in the hospital on a continuous dobutamine drip, which was needed to keep him alive. The cardiologist's plan was to give the patient time to get his affairs in order, and then to discontinue the dobutamine and allow the patient to die. His wife asked if there was anything else that could be done. I suggested that he be given one gram of magnesium sulfate intramuscularly, daily for several days.

Within ten minutes of receiving the first intra-muscular magnesium injection, the patient converted from atrial fibrillation to normal sinus rhythm, and he appeared to be improved overall. He did revert to atrial fibrillation again shortly thereafter, but the series of magnesium injections had a dramatic beneficial effect. He was successfully weaned from the dobutamine drip and later discharged from the hospital.

He continued to receive magnesium injections at home every fourth day. If more than four days elapsed between injections, his condition would deteriorate.  Although he was not able to do much more than walk slowly around the house, magnesium injections extended his life by about two years.

Comment by Alan Gaby, M.D.:

One can only guess how much more the magnesium injections might have helped this man if they had been started earlier in the course of his disease.

Reprinted with exclusive permission from The Townsend Letter. Aug 2007

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