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# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Selenium, Serum (SES)
Test Code: SELEN
Synonyms/Keywords
​Ref Lab Code: 9765, Se (Selenium)
Useful For
Monitoring selenium replacement therapy​
Specimen Requirements
Specimen Type Preferred Container/Tube Acceptable Container/Tube Specimen Volume Specimen Minimum Volume
(allows for 1 repeat)
Pediatric Minimum Volume
(no repeat)
Serum​ Plain, royal-blue top Monoject blood collection tube ​0.8 mL ​0.2 mL
Collection Processing Instructions
1. Allow the specimen to clot for 30 minutes, then centrifuge the specimen to separate serum from the cellular fraction.
2. Remove the stopper. Carefully pour specimen into Mayo metal-free, polypropylene vial, avoid transferring the cellular components of blood. Do not insert a pipette into the serum to accomplish transfer, and do not ream the specimen with a wooden stick to assist with serum transfer.
3. Submit specimen in 7 mL metal-free, screw-capped, polypropylene vial
Additional Information: High concentrations of gadolinium, iodine, and barium are known to interfere with most metals tests. If either gadolinium-, iodine-, or barium-containing contrast media has been administered, a specimen should not be collected for 96 hours.
Specimen Stability Information
Specimen Type Temperature Time
​Serum ​Refrigerated (preferred) ​14 days
​Ambient ​14 days
​Frozen ​14 days
Rejection Criteria
Hemolysis Mild OK; Gross reject
​Lipemia ​Mild OK; Gross reject
​Icterus ​Mild OK; Gross reject
Performing Laboratory Information
Performing Location Day(s) Test Performed Analytical Time Methodology/Instrumentation
​Mayo Medical Laboratories Monday through Saturday​ 1 day
Dynamic Reaction Cell-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (DRC-ICP-MS)​
Reference Lab
Test Information
Selenium is an essential element. It is a cofactor required to maintain activity of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), an enzyme that catalyzes the degradation of organic hydroperoxides. The absence of selenium correlates with loss of GSH-Px activity and is associated with damage to cell membranes due to accumulation of free radicals.
 
The normal daily dietary intake of selenium is 0.01 parts per million (ppm) to 0.04 ppm, which is similar to the typical content of soil (0.05 ppm) and sea water (0.09 ppm). Selenium is found in many over-the-counter vitamin preparations because its antioxidant activity is thought to be anticarcinogenic. There is no supporting evidence that selenium suppresses cancer.
 
In humans, cardiac muscle is the most susceptible to selenium deficiency. With cell membrane damage, normal cells are replaced by fibroblasts. This condition is known as cardiomyopathy and is characterized by an enlarged heart whose muscle is largely replaced by fibrous tissue.
 
In the United States, selenium deficiency is related to use of total parenteral nutrition. This is therapy administered to patients with no functional bowel, such as after surgical removal of the small and large intestine because of cancer, or because of acute inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease. Selenium supplementation to raise serum concentration >70 ng/mL is the usual treatment. Serum monitoring done on a semiannual basis checks the adequacy of supplementation.
 
Selenium toxicity has been observed in animals when daily intake exceeds 4 ppm. Teratogenic effects are frequently noted in the offspring of animals living in regions where soil content is high in selenium such as south-central South Dakota and northern-coastal regions of California. Selenium toxicity in humans is not known to be a significant problem except in acute overdose cases. Selenium is not classified as a human teratogen. ​
Reference Range Information
0-2 months: 45-90 ng/mL
3-6 months: 50-120 ng/mL
7-9 months: 60-120 ng/mL
10-12 months: 70-130 ng/mL
>1 year: 70-150 ng/mL
Interpretation
Selenium accumulates in biological tissue. The normal concentration in adult human blood serum is 70 to 150 ng/mL (0.15 parts per million) with a population mean value of 98 ng/mL. Optimal selenium concentration is age dependent (see Reference Values); children require less circulating selenium than do adults.
 
In the state of selenium deficiency associated with loss of glutathione peroxidase activity, the serum concentration is usually <40 ng/mL.
Outreach CPTs
CPT Modifier
(if needed)
Quantity Description Comments
​84255
Synonyms/Keywords
​Ref Lab Code: 9765, Se (Selenium)
Ordering Applications
Ordering Application Description
​Centricity ​Selenium
​Cerner ​Selenium Level (9765)
​COM ​Selenium
If the ordering application you are looking for is not listed, contact your local laboratory for assistance.
Specimen Requirements
Specimen Type Preferred Container/Tube Acceptable Container/Tube Specimen Volume Specimen Minimum Volume
(allows for 1 repeat)
Pediatric Minimum Volume
(no repeat)
Serum​ Plain, royal-blue top Monoject blood collection tube ​0.8 mL ​0.2 mL
Collection Processing Instructions
1. Allow the specimen to clot for 30 minutes, then centrifuge the specimen to separate serum from the cellular fraction.
2. Remove the stopper. Carefully pour specimen into Mayo metal-free, polypropylene vial, avoid transferring the cellular components of blood. Do not insert a pipette into the serum to accomplish transfer, and do not ream the specimen with a wooden stick to assist with serum transfer.
3. Submit specimen in 7 mL metal-free, screw-capped, polypropylene vial
Additional Information: High concentrations of gadolinium, iodine, and barium are known to interfere with most metals tests. If either gadolinium-, iodine-, or barium-containing contrast media has been administered, a specimen should not be collected for 96 hours.
Specimen Stability Information
Specimen Type Temperature Time
​Serum ​Refrigerated (preferred) ​14 days
​Ambient ​14 days
​Frozen ​14 days
Rejection Criteria
Hemolysis Mild OK; Gross reject
​Lipemia ​Mild OK; Gross reject
​Icterus ​Mild OK; Gross reject
Useful For
Monitoring selenium replacement therapy​
Test Information
Selenium is an essential element. It is a cofactor required to maintain activity of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), an enzyme that catalyzes the degradation of organic hydroperoxides. The absence of selenium correlates with loss of GSH-Px activity and is associated with damage to cell membranes due to accumulation of free radicals.
 
The normal daily dietary intake of selenium is 0.01 parts per million (ppm) to 0.04 ppm, which is similar to the typical content of soil (0.05 ppm) and sea water (0.09 ppm). Selenium is found in many over-the-counter vitamin preparations because its antioxidant activity is thought to be anticarcinogenic. There is no supporting evidence that selenium suppresses cancer.
 
In humans, cardiac muscle is the most susceptible to selenium deficiency. With cell membrane damage, normal cells are replaced by fibroblasts. This condition is known as cardiomyopathy and is characterized by an enlarged heart whose muscle is largely replaced by fibrous tissue.
 
In the United States, selenium deficiency is related to use of total parenteral nutrition. This is therapy administered to patients with no functional bowel, such as after surgical removal of the small and large intestine because of cancer, or because of acute inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease. Selenium supplementation to raise serum concentration >70 ng/mL is the usual treatment. Serum monitoring done on a semiannual basis checks the adequacy of supplementation.
 
Selenium toxicity has been observed in animals when daily intake exceeds 4 ppm. Teratogenic effects are frequently noted in the offspring of animals living in regions where soil content is high in selenium such as south-central South Dakota and northern-coastal regions of California. Selenium toxicity in humans is not known to be a significant problem except in acute overdose cases. Selenium is not classified as a human teratogen. ​
Reference Range Information
0-2 months: 45-90 ng/mL
3-6 months: 50-120 ng/mL
7-9 months: 60-120 ng/mL
10-12 months: 70-130 ng/mL
>1 year: 70-150 ng/mL
Interpretation
Selenium accumulates in biological tissue. The normal concentration in adult human blood serum is 70 to 150 ng/mL (0.15 parts per million) with a population mean value of 98 ng/mL. Optimal selenium concentration is age dependent (see Reference Values); children require less circulating selenium than do adults.
 
In the state of selenium deficiency associated with loss of glutathione peroxidase activity, the serum concentration is usually <40 ng/mL.
For more information visit:
Performing Laboratory Information
Performing Location Day(s) Test Performed Analytical Time Methodology/Instrumentation
​Mayo Medical Laboratories Monday through Saturday​ 1 day
Dynamic Reaction Cell-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (DRC-ICP-MS)​
Reference Lab
For billing questions, see Contacts
Outreach CPTs
CPT Modifier
(if needed)
Quantity Description Comments
​84255
For most current information refer to the Marshfield Laboratory online reference manual.