Clinical outcomes of children with acute asthma managed with intravenous magnesium sulphate outside intensive care setting

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health; Medical College Pakistan


Asthma in children constitutes a well-known respiratory condition with significant mortality. In poorly controlled asthma, multiple adjunct therapies including magnesium sulphate (MgSO4), are recommended to decrease the likelihood of intubation; however, limited evidence exists to support their routine usage in day-to-day situations. Aim of this study is to determine the outcomes of pediatric patients treated with magnesium sulphate during exacerbations of asthma admitted at a tertiary care unit. A retrospective study was conducted at The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan from January 2019 to December 2021. Patients aged 6 years to 15 years presented with acute asthma through Emergency Room (ER) having clinical respiratory score (CRS) more than five, admitted in high-dependency unit (HDU) were included in the study. Patients who were started on magnesium sulfate within 24 hours of admission were categorized in magnesium sulfate (MS) group. Patients receiving all standard acute asthma treatment but were not started on magnesium therapy within 24 hours of admission were categorized in the non-magnesium sulfate (non-MS) group. Different outcome variables were compared between the groups. A total of 110 patients with asthma were enrolled. Fifty-four patients were categorized into MS group while 56 were included in non-MS group. Fewer patients were transferred from HDU to pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) (24.07%) in MS group compared to non-MS group (42.85%), (p=0.02). In MS group, the mean number of days spent on oxygen in HDU were 2.38±0.81, while non-MS group spent more days (3.10±0.84 (p<0.01). This study demonstrates that for pediatric patients with severe asthma exacerbations, administration of IV MgSO4 (within 24 hours) is beneficial and results in fewer admissions to PICU and reduces the mean number of days spent on oxygen therapy


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease