Copper, zinc, and selenium in whole blood and thyroid tissue of people with various thyroid diseases


We investigated the possible differences among the concentrations of copper, zinc, and selenium, and their mutual relations in the whole blood and thyroid tissue of patients with various thyroid disorders. Trace elements were determined by total-reflection X-ray fluorescence. The mean levels of these metals in blood as well as the mean Cu/Zn, Cu/Se, and Zn/Se ratios in the patients with thyroid cancer were significantly higher that in other patients and the control groups. However, the mean Zn and Se concentrations in the thyroid cancer tissue were significantly lower than in the thyroid tissue of other patients. In addition, the mean Cu/Zn and Cu/Se ratios in the thyroid cancer tissue were significantly higher than in the patients with other thyroid diseases. We confirm that the highest levels of copper and zinc as well as the Cu/Zn, Cu/Se, and Zn/Se ratios in the whole blood of the patients with thyroid cancer may suggest the progression of the proliferation process in the thyroid gland. We suggest that the low concentrations of zinc and selenium in the thyroid tissue confirm their participation in the carcinogenic process.

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Kucharzewski, M., Braziewicz, J., Majewska, U. et al. Copper, zinc, and selenium in whole blood and thyroid tissue of people with various thyroid diseases. Biol Trace Elem Res 93, 9–18 (2003).

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Index Entries

  • Trace elements
  • copper
  • zinc
  • selenium
  • thyroid disease