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J Trauma. 1996 Jan;40(1):103-9.

Copper, selenium, and zinc status and balances after major trauma.

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Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland.


To investigate the trace elements (TE) losses and status after trauma, 11 severely injured patients (Injury Severity Score: 29 +/- 6), admitted to the ICU were studied from the day of injury (D0) until D25. Balance studies were started within 24 hours after injury, until D7. Serum and urine samples were collected from D1 to D7, then on D10, 15, 20, and 25. Intravenous TE supplementation was initiated upon admission.


Selenium (Se) and zinc (Zn) levels were decreased until D7 and were normal thereafter.


TE urinary excretions were higher than reference ranges until D20 in all patients. Fluid losses through drains contained large amounts of TE.


Balances were slightly positive for copper (Cu) and Zn, and negative for Se from D5 to D7 despite supplements. Cu status exhibited minor changes compared to those observed with the Zn and Se status: Serum levels were decreased and losses increased. Considering the importance of Se and Zn in free radical scavenging, anabolism, and immunity, current recommendations for TE supplements in severely traumatized patients ought to be revised.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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