Table 4
Author, date and countryPatient groupStudy type (level of evidence)OutcomeKey resultsStudy weaknesses
Skorodin MS et al, 1995, USA72 adults (70 male) presenting to ED with exacerbation COPD randomised to 1.2 g magnesium sulphate or placebo after receiving 2.5 mg nebulised salbutamolDouble blinded PRCTChange in PEFR at 30 min and 45 min25.1 l/min better for MgSO4 at 30 min, 7.4 l/min better for MgSO4 at 45 min (p = 0.03)Male bias
Change in % PEFR at 30 min and 45 min22.4% for MgSO4 at 30 min, 6.1% at 45 min (p = 0.01)Patients with high temperature or radiological signs of infection excluded
Need for hospitalisation28.1% for MgSO4 group v 41.9% for placebo (p = 0.25)Three patients received 3 g magnesium sulphate instead of 1.2 g