Background and aim: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic, inflammatory, pruritic skin disease usually observed in patients with other allergies. Decreased selenium levels and improvement with selenium supplement are reported in AD. The aim of this study was to compare serum and whole blood selenium in children with AD and control group.
Materials and Methods: In an age-sex matched case-control study, 46 children with AD (according to Rajka & Hanifin criteria) and 46 controls were evaluated. The severity of AD was determined based on SCORAD index. Serum and whole blood selenium levels were measured and compared between two groups by atomic absorption spectroscopy. Chi-square and t tests were used for data analysis and P<0.05 was considered as significant.
Results: Forty-six patients with age of 2.57±2.6 years and 46 controls with age of 2.63±2.6 years, each consisting of 24 boys and 22 girls were included (P>0.05). Mean serum selenium in patients (72.58±16.5 ng/ml) was significantly lower than controls (84.8±15.6 ng/ml) (P=0.0001). Mean whole blood selenium in patients (88.07±19.0 ng/ml) was significantly lower than controls (99.38±19.3 ng/ml)(P<0.001). Low serum selenium levels (less than 63 ng/ml) were observed in 28.3% of patients and 10.9% of controls (P<0.05). Low whole blood selenium levels (defined as less than 75.5 ng/ml) were observed in 30.4% of patients and 15.2% of controls (P>0.05). No significant correlations were observed between serum and whole blood selenium and severity of AD.
Conclusion: The results confirm other studies that showed low selenium levels in AD. Our findings suggest that low selenium level may be involved in the pathophysiology of AD in childhood, and indicate nutritional status especially selenium levels might be a potentially useful strategy for the recognition and treatment of these patients.