Date of Award

Spring 1994

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemistry & Biochemistry



Committee Director

Patricia A. Pleban

Committee Member

John R. Donat

Committee Member

Laura K. Moen

Committee Member

Reuben Rohn

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.C45S86


Recently, it has been reported that human type I iodothyronine deiodinase, an enzyme important in the conversion of T4 to T3 , is a selenoenzyme. Several studies have reported alterations in plasma selenium level in hypo- and hyperthyroid patients.

Using polarized Zeeman-effect atomic absorption spectroscopy, we measured selenium, zinc, copper and manganese concentrations in the plasma and/or red blood cells in children with or without thyroid disease being seen at the outpatient clinic at Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters. Children with thyroid disease were subdivided into untreated, treated and nonresponsive groups. Data were analyzed using Student's t-test and nonparametric correlation programs available in the SPSS program.

Significantly lower plasma selenium concentrations were found in untn:atcd and treated hypothyroid patients when compared to control subjects. No other significant differences for plasma selenium and erythrocyte selenium concentrations were found among the other groups in both hypo- and hyperthyroid patients when compared to controls. No relationship was found between plasma selenium and T4 or TSH levels in hypothyroid patients. However, in hyperthyroid patients, plasma selenium levels correlated negatively to T4 levels and positively with TSH levels.

Significantly lower plasma zinc levels were found in treated and nonresponsive hypothyroid patients. Significantly lower red blood cell zinc levels in untreated and nonresponsive hyperthyroid patients were also found. In addition, significant inverse correlations between red blood cell zinc and T4 were observed in both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid patients.


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