SERUM MAGNESIUM LEVELS IN PREECLAMPSIA AND IN NORMAL PREGNANCY IN A TERTIARY HOSPITAL
BACKGROUND OF STUDY: Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy is a significant cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality across the world and especially in developing countries.
Several theories have been proposed for the aetiopathogenesis of preeclampsia with the central pathology being defective trophoblastic invasion of the spiral arterioles. While some studies show that hypomagnesaemia is associated with the aetiopathogenesis of preeclampsia and adverse fetal outcome including preterm birth, other studies however, refute this.
AIM AND OBJECTIVES: The study was aimed at comparing serum magnesium levels in preeclamptic pregnancies and normal pregnancies with evaluation of fetal outcome at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: This was a comparative cross-sectional analytical study
involving women with preeclampsia and normotensive pregnant women. One hundred women
with clinically diagnosed preeclampsia were recruited as the study group while same number of
normotensive pregnant women, matched for age, parity and gestational age were recruited consecutively to serve as the control group. Blood samples were collected at delivery and assayed for serum magnesium and comparison made. Socioeconomic differences between women with hypomagnesemia and normal magnesium was assessed. The relationship between fetal outcome and serum magnesium level was determined by assessing the birth weight and need for neonatal admission in women with low and normal magnesium. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 23.
RESULTS: Mean serum magnesium level was 0.63±0.07mmol/L and 0.89±0.14mmol/L (p=0.001) in preclamptic and normotensive women respectively. Socioeconomic status did not significantly correlate with low or normal magnesium in the study population (p=0.0685). Women with hypomagnesemia had more babies with low birth weight 16.9% vs 2.7% (p=0.001) and more need for neonatal intensive care unit admission (p=0.004).
CONCLUSION: The statistical difference in serum magnesium between normotensive and preeclamptic women shows that magnesium may play a role in the aetiology of preeclampsia and its severity and thus a recommendation for magnesium supplementation for pregnant women may be made.
STRENGHTS AND LIMITATIONS: The number of variables matched and the sample size increased the power of the study, however generalization of result to the general pregnant population may have been affected due to it being a single centre study in a tertiary hospital.