Patients with sepsis syndrome commonly have low serum selenium levels. Several randomized controlled trials have examined the efficacy of selenium supplementation on mortality in patients with sepsis.
To determine the efficacy and safety of high-dose selenium supplementation compared to placebo for the reduction of mortality in patients with sepsis.
Sources of Data:
We searched Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, EMBASE, SciFinder, and Clinicaltrials.gov.
Randomized controlled parallel group trials comparing selenium supplementation in doses greater than daily requirement to placebo on the outcome of mortality in patients with sepsis syndrome.
Data Collection and Analysis:
Two reviewers independently applied eligibility criteria, assessed quality, and extracted data. The primary outcome was mortality; secondary outcomes were ICU length of stay, nosocomial pneumonia, and adverse events. Trial authors were contacted for additional or clarifying information.
Nine trials enrolling a total of 792 patients were included. Selenium supplementation in comparison to placebo was associated with lower mortality (odds ratio, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.54, 0.98; p = 0.03; I2 = 0%). Among patients receiving and not receiving selenium, there was no difference in ICU length of stay (mean difference, 2.03; 95% CI, –0.51, 4.56; p = 0.12; I2 = 0%) or nosocomial pneumonia (odds ratio, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.28, 2.49; p = 0.74; I2 = 56%). Significant heterogeneity among trials in adverse event reporting precluded pooling of results.
In patients with sepsis, selenium supplementation at doses higher than daily requirement may reduce mortality. We observed no impact of selenium on ICU length of stay or risk of nosocomial pneumonia.