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December 1967

Significance of Magnesium and Zinc Metabolism in the Surgical PatientI. Magnesium

Author Affiliations

Columbia, Mo
From the Department of Surgery, University of Missouri Medical Center, Columbia, Mo.

Arch Surg. 1967;95(6):974-990. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1967.01330180122022

AS SCIENTIFIC knowledge has expanded with regard to nutrition, fluid and electrolyte balance, blood volume, and shock, the variety and magnitude of surgical procedures which may be successfully tolerated by patients in the poor-risk category have steadily increased. In recent years our surgical therapeutic efforts have been enhanced by new knowledge gained from defining biologic processes at the cellular and molecular level, thereby enabling us to understand and control physiologic homeostasis on a more sophisticated basis. The eventual outcome following any form of injury, including surgical operations, is directly dependent upon an ability to detect and correct alterations at both macrotissue levels (gross hemorrhage, wound infection, fractures) and microcellular levels (capillary flow, transcellular ion exchange, enzyme activity). The biologic function of magnesium and the trace elements lies at these levels. The physiologic significance of magnesium and zinc is somewhat different than sodium, potassium, and perhaps even calcium, and lies in

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