Degree Name

Master of Science (Hons.)


Department of Biomedical Science


Free, unbound and therefore biologically available ionised magnesium (IMg) plays vital roles in a variety of physiological and biochemical processes. This includes the proper functioning of many enzyme systems and the regulation of transmembrane movements of cations. The cardiovascular system is highly dependent on IMg, and numerous studies indicate that decreases in IMg concentrations are associated with a number of cardiovascular disease states. Coronary heart disease with myocardial infarction is a leading cause of death, with patient survival enhanced by quick and accurate diagnosis. Quick diagnosis by the physician and prompt therapeutic intervention (i.e. thrombolytics or invasive surgery) can minimise damage to the heart muscle. However, in a large group of patients an accurate diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) cannot be made rapidly and is only possible after biochemical testing. The aim of this study was to determine serum IMg, total magnesium (TMg) and Creatine Kinase-MB (CK-MB) concentrations in patients with AMI and in other patients admitted to hospital on account of chest pain in which a diagnosis of AMI was ruled out. The study was undertaken to evaluate any trends in IMg concentrations associated with AMI, and to determine if IMg concentrations could be used as a diagnostic tool for AMI. Blood samples were taken from volunteers (n = 72) with suspected AMI on admission to hospital and at approximately 6 hour intervals, for up to 66 hours, after the onset of chest pain. A control group of non-AMI volunteers (n = 90) (age and sex matched) was also monitored within the same time intervals.