A Comparison between Intravenous Magnesium Sulfate and Oral Magnesium Chloride in Mild Preeclampsia

A Ghahiri, K Berjis


Background: Preeclampsia is the second cause of maternal mortality in the United States and accounts for 25% of perinatal
mortality. Mild Preeclampsia could be treated without hospitalization, however in some cases, hospitalization seems necessary.
Administration of magnesium sulfate (MgSo4) in mild preeclampsia is a matter of controversy.
It is obvious that replacing intravenous magnesium sulfate with an oral preparation of magnesium, of course if it gains a
sufficiently high serum level, can be easier to use and less expensive. Up to the present time, we have not been able to find any
previously done studies using oral magnesium preprations to treat preeclampsia. Thus, we tried to compare serum magnesium
level with oral magnesium chloride and intravenous (IV) magnesium sulfate therapy.
Methods: This was a comparative experimental study. From January 2002 until April 2003, pregnant patients with mild preeclampsia
admitted to Al-Zahra and Beheshti hospitals,Isfahan,Iran, between their 27th and 38th weeks of gestation were divided
into 2 groups randomly. There were 33 patients in each group. The first group was treated with IV magnesium sulfate (2
g/h) and the second group received oral magnesium chloride (4 g/2h). Magnesium level was checked in 0, 3, 6, 12 hours. The
collected data were analyzed with t-Student test on a computer applying SPSS software.
Results: There was no statistical difference between the two groups regarding age, gravidity and gestational age. Magnesium
level rose in both groups (P<0.01).
Increase of magnesium level in IV magnesium sulfate group was greater than in the other group, and in the magnesium
chloride group, therapeutic level could not be achieved.
Conclusion: Increase of serum Mg level in IV Mg sulfate group and reaching the therapeutic level was the same as reported
before. Increase of Mg level with oral Mg chloride, though measurable, did not reach the therapeutic level. Perhaps with more
cases or higher amounts of the drug or other types of Mg preparations we could reach the therapeutic level.
Keywords: Preeclampsia, Serum magnesium level, Magnesium chloride, Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH), Oral administration

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