bAbstract: Perinatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is an important cause of brain injury in the newborn
and can result devastating consequences. The principle mechanisms underlying neurological damage in HIE
resulting from hypoxemia and/or ischemia is deprivation of glucose and oxygen supply which energy failure.
A consequent reperfusion injury often deteriorates the brain metabolism by increasing the oxidative stress damage.
Selenium is a constituent of the antioxidant enzyme Glutathione peroxidase and is vital to antioxidant defense.
This study aimed to measure the serum selenium levels in full term neonates with HIE and their mothers and to
correlate between them and the severity of HIE.
Methods: The study included 60 full term neonates with HIE admitted to NICU of Minia university hospital during
the period from January 2014 to February 2015. Twenty apparently healthy full term neonates selected as a control
group. After history taking and careful clinical examination; all neonates were subjected to: Complete blood count,
renal and liver function tests and serum electrolytes. Serum selenium was measured for all neonates and their
mothers within 48 h of life using atomic flame spectrophotometer method.
Results: Neonates with HIE had significant lower serum selenium levels than normal healthy neonates (p = 0.001**)
with the lowest levels in neonates with severe HIE but there were no significant differences between patients and
controls as regards the maternal serum selenium levels. Significant negative correlations between serum selenium
levels and the severity of HIE and base excess were present, while positive significant correlations were present
with Apgar score and pH. There were no correlations between serum selenium levels and maternal serum selenium
levels urea or creatinine levels.
Conclusions: Neonates with HIE had lower serum selenium level than normal healthy neonates which is not
dependent on the maternal serum selenium levels and was negatively correlated with the severity of HIE.