Low serum selenium is associated with the severity of organ failure in critically ill children

Publication date: August 2018
Source:Clinical Nutrition, Volume 37, Issue 4
Author(s): M. Broman, Mattias Lindfors, Åke Norberg, Christina Hebert, Olav Rooyackers, Jan Wernerman, Urban Fläring
Background & aimsLow concentration of serum selenium is associated with the inflammatory response and multiple organ failure in adult ICU-patients. Critically ill children are less well characterized. In this study, serum selenium concentration and its possible relation to multiple organ failure as well as glutathione status was investigated in pediatric intensive care (PICU) patients.MethodsA prospective consecutive cohort of critically ill children (n = 100) admitted to the PICU of a tertiary university hospital, and in addition an age stratified reference group of healthy children (n = 60) were studied. The concentrations of serum selenium and reduced and total glutathione were determined at admission and at day 5 for patients still in the PICU.ResultsLow concentration of serum selenium as well as a high-reduced fraction of glutathione (GSH/tGSH) was associated with multiple organ failure (p < 0.001 and p < 0.01) respectively. A correlation between low serum selenium concentration and high-reduced fraction of glutathione (GSH/tGSH) was also seen (r = −0.19 and p = 0.03). The serum selenium concentrations in the pediatric reference group in a selenium poor area were age dependent with lower concentrations in infants as compared to older children (p < 0.001).ConclusionsBoth low serum selenium concentration and high reduced fraction of glutathione (GSH/tGSH) were associated with the development of multiple organ failure. The association between low serum selenium concentration and high fraction of reduced glutathione in whole blood favour the hypothesis that selenium is of critical importance for the scavenge capacity of glutathione peroxidase (GPX).