Author(s): Darlow BA, Winterbourn CC, Inder TE, Graham PJ, Harding JE,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Low selenium (SE) status has been documented in preterm infants and has been suggested to be a risk factor for chronic lung disease. METHODS: A total of 534 infants with birth weight <1500 g were enrolled in 8 New Zealand centers in a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial of SE supplementation from week 1 of life until 36 weeks' postmenstrual age or discharge home. Supplemented infants received 7 microg/kg/d of SE when fed parenterally and 5 microg/kg/d when fed orally. Plasma SE and glutathione peroxidase concentrations were measured in mothers after delivery and in infants before randomization and at 28 days and 36 weeks' postmenstrual age. Primary outcome measures were oxygen dependency at 28 days and total days oxygen dependency. RESULTS: No significant differences were seen between the groups with respect to primary or secondary outcome measures, with the exception that fewer supplemented infants had an episode of sepsis after the first week of life (P <.038). Mean plasma SE concentrations were 0.33 micromol/L before randomization in both groups and at 28 days had risen in the supplemented group (0.56 micromol/L) but fallen in the control group (0.29 micromol/L) (P <.0001). There was no association between outcome measures and SE concentrations at 28 days or 36 weeks' postmenstrual age. However, lower maternal and infant prerandomization SE concentrations were associated with increased respiratory morbidity. CONCLUSIONS: Postnatal SE supplementation in very low birth weight infants did not improve neonatal outcome. Further investigation of SE supplementation of mothers from the second half of pregnancy is warranted.
This article was published in J Pediatr
and referenced in Journal of Neonatal Biology