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PTD - 288

Test Directory -  Selenium

Clinical Indications

Significant selenium deficiency is manifest primarily as cardiomyopathy. This correlates poorly with serum selenium levels and rarely occurs in selenium deficient patients on total parenteral nutrition. Selenium toxicity occurs only after ingestion of selenium as a chemical, rather than from a high dietary intake.

Request Form 

Combined Pathology Blood form (Yellow/Black or Blue for GP's)


Referred test: Analysed at the Trace Element Laboratory, Guildford, if specific criteria met.

Specific Criteria

Detection of selenium deficiency in patients with dietary deficiency, especially patients on a non-supplemented synthetic amino acid diet (eg, phenylketonuria, total parenteral nutrition). Such diets are now usually supplemented with selenium. Detection of selenium toxicity.

Patient Preparation

None required.

Turnaround Time

2 Weeks




2 ml.


Red top (plain) tube is preferred but pink/purple top (EDTA) is acceptable or

Paediatric orange top (lithium heparin).

Please also send an empty 'control' tube similar to the tube that the sample has been taken into. Yellow top (SST) tubes must not be used.

Causes for Rejection

Haemolysis. Unlabelled sample.

Reference Range

Provided by the referral laboratory.


Provided by the referral laboratory.

Lab. Handling

Processing: Aliquot and store at 4C in separating fridge (CB39).
Referral: SASOD and send or BPRO and save at -20C in separating freezer (CB40)


Version 1.0 / July 2014                                                                                                           Approved by: Consultant Biochemist