Archive Of Standardized Exam Questions: Hypermagnesemia (Magnesium Toxicity)


This page is dedicated to organizing various examples of standardized exam questions whose answer is hypermagnesemia (magnesium toxicity). While this may seem a odd practice, it is useful to see multiple examples of how hypermagnesemia (magnesium toxicity) will be characterized on standardized exams (namely the boards and the shelf exams). This page is not meant to be used as a tradition question bank (as all of the answers will be the same), however seeing the classic “test” characterization for a disease is quite valuable.


Question # 1

A 29 year old G1P0 woman is at 36 weeks gestation and is undergoing an induction of labor for preeclampsia with severe features. She has complaints of a headache, right upper quadrant pain, as well as blurry vision. Her blood pressure 180/120 mm Hg, respiratory rate is 21/min, and hear rate is 93/min. In addition to 10 hours of oxytocin, she is receiving intravenous magnesium sulfate at 2 g /hour. During the past two hours her urine output has decreased to 15 mL per hour (down from 50 mL/h) and her respiratory rate is now 10/min. What is the likely diagnosis in this patient?

Explanation: patient on magnesium fluids + new onset respiratory depression = hypermagnesemia (magnesium toxicity)

Page Updated: 11.02.2016