Selenium concentrations in pancreatic juice of patients with chronic pancreatitis

James S. Scolapio, Massimo Raimondo, Timothy A. Woodward, Michael B. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Free radicals have been implicated as an important mediator in the pathogenesis of tissue injury. Experimental animal models would suggest selenium deficiency contributes to the pathogenesis of chronic pancreatitis (CP). In clinical studies, low plasma selenium levels have been reported in patients with CP. To the best of our knowledge, selenium levels have not been measured in pancreatic juice. Methods: Twenty-seven patients with chronic intermittent upper quadrant abdominal pain were studied. The diagnosis of CP was made by endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. Patients were allowed to eat an ad libitum western diet. None of the patients was taking selenium supplements. Patients underwent upper endoscopy with routine conscious sedation. Secretin (0.2 μg/kg) was given IV immediately before intubation. Pancreatic juice collected from the duodenum was immediately frozen in liquid nitrogen and stored at -80°C until the assay was performed. Selenium levels of the pancreatic juice were determined using the inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry method. Results: Twelve patients had an abnormal pancreatogram. The gender and median age in controls and CP were 11 females and 4 males (54 years, range 32-78) and 7 females and 5 males (56 years, range 37-79), respectively. The etiology of CP was alcohol and idiopathic. The median selenium concentration in controls was 4 μg/mL (range, 2-11.5) and in CP 4.5 μg/mL (range, 2-16). There was not a statistically significant difference between the 2 groups (p = not significant). Conclusions: The pancreatic juice concentration of selenium is similar in patients with CP compared with age matched controls. Our results would therefore suggest that the effects of selenium on pancreatic injury might be systemic rather than local tissue effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-341
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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