Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
 
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BRIEF REPORT
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 57-59

Hypocalcemia in a Saudi intensive care unit


Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, King Abdulaziz National Guard Hospital, PO Box 2477, Alhasa, 31982, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Rifat Rehmani
Emergency Department, Clinical Epidemiologist, King Abdulaziz National Guard Hospital, PO Box 2477, Alhasa, 31982
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/1817-1737.39638

PMID: 19561907

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Objective: Hypocalcemia has been a common abnormality in the West, seen in patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). It has also been linked with disease severity. We undertook this study to determine the frequency of hypocalcemia in patients admitted to the intensive care unit. Materials and Methods: In a retrospective chart review from January 2004 till December 2004, patients admitted to our ICU were reviewed. Patients' age, sex, diagnosis, acute physiology and chronic health score APACHE II and ionized calcium were recorded. Patients were divided into three groups based on disease severity as measured by APACHE II. Hypocalcemia was defined as ionized Ca level less than 1.18 mmol/L. Frequency was determined in each group and correlation of hypocalcemia with disease severity was explored. Results: Hypocalcemia was seen in 22.2% in group A (APACHE II < 10), 40.4% in group B (APACHE II 10-19) and 53.9% in group C (APACHE II > 19). Hypocalcemia and disease severity (APACHE II scores) were negatively correlated ( P = 0.02). Mean ionized Ca levels in groups A, B and C were 1.22 mmol/L (0.10), 1.19 mmol/L (0.11) and 1.25 mmol/L (0.24) respectively. Conclusions: Hypocalcemia is a common finding in critically ill patients. It is correlated with worsening disease severity. Mechanisms underlying hypocalcemia and the possible relationship of hypocalcemia with mortality need further consideration.


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