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J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2015;31:148-56. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2014.09.011. Epub 2014 Oct 24.

Selenium deficiency associated porcine and human cardiomyopathies.

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Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Biosciences, Department of Production Animal Clinical Sciences, Kyrkjevegen 332-334, 4325 Sandnes, Norway. Electronic address:
Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Department of Laboratory Services, Postbox 750 Sentrum, NO-0106 Oslo, Norway.
Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Department of Health Surveillance, Postbox 750 Sentrum, NO-0106 Oslo, Norway.


Selenium (Se) is a trace element playing an important role in animal and human physiological homeostasis. It is a key component in selenoproteins (SeP) exerting multiple actions on endocrine, immune, inflammatory and reproductive processes. The SeP family of glutathione peroxidases (GSH-Px) inactivates peroxides and thereby maintains physiological muscle function in humans and animals. Animals with high feed conversion efficiency and substantial muscle mass have shown susceptibility to Se deficiency related diseases since nutritional requirements of the organism may not be covered. Mulberry Heart Disease (MHD) in pigs is an important manifestation of Se deficiency often implicating acute heart failure and sudden death without prior clinical signs. Post-mortem findings include hemorrhagic and pale myocardial areas accompanied by fluid accumulation in the pericardial sac and pleural cavity. Challenges in MHD are emerging in various parts of the world. Se is of fundamental importance also to human health. In the 1930s the Se deficiency associated cardiomyopathy named Keshan Disease (KD) was described for the first time in China. Various manifestations, such as cardiogenic shock, enlarged heart, congestive heart failure, and cardiac arrhythmias are common. Multifocal necrosis and fibrous replacement of myocardium are characteristic findings. Pathological findings in MD and KD show striking similarities.


Deficiency; Keshan Disease (KD); Mulberry Heart Disease (MHD); Se

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