Prevalence of hypomagnesemia in patients undergoing gynecological oncology surgery in tertiary care cancer institute of India

Bikram Bhardwaj, Ava Dipan Desai, Bijal Manish Patel, Chetna Deepal Parekh, Shilpa Mukesh Patel


Background: Hypomagnesemia is an important but unknown risk factor for post-operative complications in patients undergoing surgery for presumed gynecological malignancy. This study aims to evaluate the prevalence of hypomagnesemia in patients undergoing surgery for presumed gynecological cancers referred to our tertiary care Cancer Institute.

Methods: This is a prospective observational study of 100 patients admitted with provisional diagnosis of malignancy. They underwent surgery in one of the Gynecologic Oncology units at The Gujarat Cancer Research Institute, Ahmedabad from October 2016 to April 2017. Hypomagnesemia was defined a serum magnesium levels less than 1.8mg/dl.

Results: The incidence of pre-operative hypomagnesemia in the entire cohort was 35%. Sixty three percent patients had normal pre-operative magnesium levels and hypermagnesemia was seen in 2% of study population. Patients with benign disease had 29.6% pre-operative hypomagnesemia compared with 39.6% in patients with gynecologic malignancy. Pre-operative hypomagnesemia and even falling levels in post-operative period are an important predictive marker for post-operative complications like increased post-operative pain, post-operative ileus, hypertension and even post-operative hypokalemia. Age, body mass index, hematocrit, surgical indication and length of hospital stay were not associated with hypomagnesemia. Patients undergoing neo-adjuvant chemotherapy before surgery had significant incidence of hypomagnesemia both pre-operatively and post-operatively.

Conclusions: Hypomagnesemia is quite prevalent in patients of gynecologic-oncology undergoing surgery. Pre-operative hypomagnesemia and even falling levels in post-operative period have a bearing on the final surgical outcome. Hence pre-operative and post-operative magnesium levels may be included as a valuable marker in all patients undergoing surgery for gynecologic malignancy.


Gynec-oncology surgery, Hypomagnesemia, Hypokalemia, Post-operative complications

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