Evaluation of Serum Selenium Level in Hospitalized Children with Acute Gastroenteritis

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Pediatric Pediatric Gasteroenterohepatology Pediatric Gastroentrology, Hepatology and Nutrition Research Center, Research Institute for Children Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Resident of Pediatric.Department of Pediatric, Mofid Children's Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Assiatant professor of pediatric gastroenterohepatology Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Research Center, Mofid Children's Hospital Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences Tehran, Iran.

4 MSc of Neonatal Intensive Care.Department of Neonatal Health Research Center, Research Institute for Children Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

5 Assiatant Professor of Pediatric Gastroenterohepatology Pediatric Gastroentrology.


Background and Objectives: Diarrhea refers to the passage of three or more loose of watery stools per more than 15ml/kg/day in infant or >200 gr/day in older children and adolescence. Selenium (Se) is suggested, like other trace mineral and anti-oxidant enzymes, is one of the important immune factor that neutralized free oxygen radicals. Selenium deficiency leads to occurrence of bacterial infections, hair fall, loss of skin elasticity, or disease progression of some viral infections. Recent research has suggested that selenium deficiency has role in gastroenteritis therefore we designed a study for relation between serum selenium level and acute gastroenteritis.
Subjects and Methods: This is a case-control study which performed on 80 infants and children in the range of 6-36 month of age. In case group were 35 children with acute gastroenteritis and in control group were 45 healthy children. We measured serum selenium level by atomic absorption via spectrophotometer method. In control group performed once and in the case group twice during admission and recovery phase 7-10 days after treatment.
Results: The mean serum selenium level in the acute phase was 80.8±18.2 µg/L and after 7-10 days in recovery phase was 105.6±18.4 µg/L. Mean serum selenium in control group was 94.5±15.3 µg/L. Serum selenium level decreased significantly in severe dehydration than mild and moderate dehydration (P<0.001). There was no relationship between selenium level with age, weight, sex, breastfeeding, socioeconomic and underlying disease.
Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that decrease selenium level in acute phase of gastroenteritis compared to control group and significantly lower than in recovery phase. We suggest during treatment of gastroenteritis, attention to selenium deficiency need to be made.


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