Volume 30, Issue 2 (April 1985)

    Fatal Acute Selenium Toxicity

    (Received 30 June 1984; accepted 19 September 1984)

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    Selenium is used widely in industry and as a dietary supplement. Reports of acute selenium toxicity are infrequent, however, and the relationship of toxicity to selenium concentrations in blood and tissues has not been established. We describe a patient who died eight days after ingesting selenious acid in the form of gun blueing. The patient's clinical course demonstrated many of the features of inorganic selenium toxicity described in animals; hypotension as a result of both vasodilation and decreased cardiac output, adult respiratory distress syndrome, severe myopathy which contributed to respiratory failure, and a garlicky odor to the breath. Four days after ingestion the serum selenium concentration was twenty times normal and urinary excretion seventy times normal. Postmortem tissue selenium concentrations were up to 40 times normal.


    Author Information:

    Fletcher, D
    Resident, University of Minnesota Medical School and Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN

    Jentzen, J
    Resident, University of Minnesota Medical School and Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN

    Pentel, P
    Assistant professor, Section of Clinical Pharmocology and Toxicology, University of Minnesota Medical School and Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN


    Stock #: JFS11839J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS11839J

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    Author
    Title Fatal Acute Selenium Toxicity
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30