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Intravenous and Nebulized Magnesium Sulfate for Treating Acute Asthma in Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Su, Zhantao, MB*†; Li, Rui, MB; Gai, Zhongtao, MD*

doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000000909
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Objective This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of intravenous (IV) and nebulized magnesium sulfate in acute asthma in children.

Methods The PubMed, Cochrane Library, and EMBASE databases were searched. Randomized controlled trials and quasi-randomized controlled trials of IV and nebulized magnesium sulfate in pediatric acute asthma were included. The outcomes subject to meta-analysis were pulmonary function, hospitalization, and further treatment. If statistical heterogeneity was significant, random-effects models were used for meta-analysis, otherwise, fixed-effects models were applied.

Results Ten randomized and quasi-randomized trials (6 IV, 4 nebulized) were identified. Intravenous magnesium sulfate treatment is associated with significant effects on respiratory function (standardized mean difference, 1.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.80-3.08; P = 0.0008) and hospital admission (risk ratio, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.31-0.95; P = 0.03). But nebulized magnesium sulfate treatment shows no significant effect on respiratory function (standardized mean difference, 0.19; 95% CI, −0.01–0.40; P = 0.07) or hospital admission (risk ratio, 1.11; 95% CI, 0.86–1.44; P = 0.42).

Conclusions The meta-analysis revealed that IV magnesium sulfate is an effective treatment in children, with the pulmonary function significantly improved and hospitalization and further treatment decreased. But nebulized magnesium sulfate treatment showed no significant effect on respiratory function or hospital admission and further treatment.

From the *Pediatric Research Institute, Qilu Children's Hospital of Shandong University;

Department of Pediatric, Shandong Police Hospital; and

Department of Radiation Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital, Ji'nan, China.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Zhongtao Gai, MD, Pediatric Research Institute, Qilu Children's Hospital of Shandong University, NO. 430 Jingshi Road, Ji’nan 250022, China (e-mail: gaizhongtao@sina.com).

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