Is Magnesium Metabolism Related to Calcium Urolithiasis?

  • G. W. Drach
  • J. Gaines
  • J. Donovan
Conference paper


Some investigators have demonstrated that the urinary ratio of magnesium (Mg) to calcium (Ca) (usually expressed Mg/Ca × 100) is significantly less in many stone formers than in normals. Based on this observation physicians have administered magnesium as a means of preventing new calcium stone formation, but success has been inconclusive1. Other reports indicate that Mg/Ca ratios are not relevant in stone former urines because urinary Ca is usually elevated; Mg independently has minimal importance2. Furthermore, there are no differences in the cellular metabolism of Mg between stone formers and normals. Most such studies have relied on longterm observations (days or months) of serum and urinary (or even cellular) Mg. These observations tend to average acute changes which may occur when Ca and Mg are ingested and excreted simultaneously4. If low urinary Mg is involved in the genesis of calcium stone formation, then Mg administration should prevent calcium stone formation. This is so1.


Minimal Importance Relative Deficiency Observation Physician Load Serum Urinary Ratio 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. W. Drach
    • 1
  • J. Gaines
    • 1
  • J. Donovan
    • 1
  1. 1.The Dept. of Surgery/Section of Urology, and Division of BiostatisticsUniversity of Arizona Health Sciences CenterTucsonUSA

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