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Laboratory Medicine

Test Directory / Magnesium


Brown clotted serum, gel barrier or lithium heparin

Common AbbreviationsMg, MAG
Tube typeBrown clotted serum, gel barrier or lithium heparin
Clinical IndicationLow serum magnesium levels are observed in chronic alcoholism, malnutrition, malabsorption, acute pancreatitis and renal dysfunction. Patients taking proton pump inhibitors may also have low magnesium levels. Increased serum magnesium levels are most commonly seen in renal failure. Magnesium may also be measured during the investigation of low levels of calcium and phosphate and to monitor patients on supplementation.
Specimen TypeBlood
Sample typeSerum or plasma
Minimum Volume0.5mL If requesting more than 10 tests please send an additional brown clotted serum sample.
Special PrecautionsNo special requirements
Stability7 days at 15-25°c
Turnaround TimeInpatient: 4 hours Outpatient/ GP: 24 hours
LaboratoryYork and Scarborough
Reference Interval0.7-1.0mmol/L (Recommended by the Pathology Harmonisation Reference Group)
LimitationsHaemolysed samples should be avoided due to the higher magnesium content in red blood cells.
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