Adv Respir Med. 2022 Jan 31. doi: 10.5603/ARM.a2022.0012. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Magnesium sulfate has been extensively used to treat asthma exacerbations, but its efficacy remains questionable in the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) population. The aim of the study was to compare the efficacy of intravenous (IV) magnesium sulfate in COPD. A systemic review search was conducted on PubMed, Embase, and the Central Cochrane Registry. Randomized clinical trials were included with magnesium sulfate as an intervention arm in the COPD population.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: For continuous variables, standardized mean difference (SMD) and difference in means (MD) were calculated. For discrete variables, the Mantel-Haenszel (MH) odds ratio was used. For effect sizes, a confidence interval of 95% was used. A p-value of less than 0.05 was used for statistical significance. Analysis was done using both random and fixed effect models. Heterogeneity was evaluated using the I² statistic.
RESULTS: Seven studies were included in the final analysis. In patients with acute exacerbations of COPD treated with IV magnesium, a significant increase in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV₁) was observed (MD = 2.537 [0.717 to 4.357], p = 0.006), as well as in peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) (SMD = 1.073 [0.748 to 1.397], p < 0.001) using the fixed model. Similarly, residual volume decreased significantly in the IV magnesium group (MD = -0.470 [-0.884 to -0.056], p = 0.026). The hospitalization rate was also lower in the magnesium group, (MH odds ratio 0.453 [0.233 to 0.882], p = 0.020). No statistically significant difference was noted in FEV₁ in the stable COPD population.
CONCLUSION: IV magnesium was associated with a favorable deviation of FEV1 and PEFR, decreased residual volume, and decreased odds of admission in the COPD exacerbation population. Therefore, magnesium sulfate can be used as an adjunctive therapy in the treatment of acute exacerbations of COPD.