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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


GERMANO-BORGES-DE-OLIVEIRA-NASCIMENTO-FREITAS, Renata et al. Is plasma selenium correlated to transthyretin levels in critically ill patients?. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2017, vol.34, n.3, pp.555-561. ISSN 1699-5198.


Selenium is an essential trace element, but critically ill patients using total parenteral nutrition (PN) do not receive selenium because this mineral is not commonly offered. Threfore, the evaluation of plasma selenium levels is very important for treating or preventing this deficiency. Recent studies have shown that transthyretin may reflect the selenium intake and could be considered a biomarker. However, this issue is still little explored in the literature.


This study aims to investigate the correlation of transthyretin with the plasma selenium of critically ill patients receiving PN.


This was a prospective cohort study with 44 patients using PN without selenium. Blood samples were carried out in 3 stages: initial, 7th and 14th day of PN. In order to evaluate the clinical condition and the inflammatory process, albumin, C-reactive protein (CRP), transthyretin, creatinine and HDL cholesterol levels were observed. To assess the selenium status, plasma selenium and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in whole blood were measured. Descriptive analyses were performed and the ANOVA, Mann-Whitney and Spearman's coefficient tests were conducted; we assumed a significance level of 5%.


A positive correlation of selenium with the GPx levels (r = 0.46; p = 0.03) was identified. During two weeks, there was a positive correlation of transthyretin with plasma selenium (r = 0.71; p = 0.05) regardless of the CRP values.


Transthyretin may have reflected plasma selenium, mainly because the correlation was verified after the acute phase.

Keywords : Plasma selenium; Glutathione peroxidase; Transthyretin; Critically ill patients.

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