Comparison of selenium determination in liver samples by atomic absorption spectroscopy and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry

Irina Rudik Miksa, Carol L. Buckley, Nancy P. Carpenter, Robert H Poppenga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Selenium (Se) is an essential trace element that is often deficient in the natural diets of domestic animal species. The measurement of Se in whole blood or liver is the most accurate way to assess Se status for diagnostic purposes. This study was conducted to compare hydride generation atomic absorption spectroscopy (HG-AAS) with inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) for the detection and quantification of Se in liver samples. Sample digestion was accomplished with magnesium nitrate and nitric acid for HG-AAS and ICP-MS, respectively. The ICP-MS detection was optimized for 82Se with yttrium used as the internal standard and resulted in a method detection limit of 0.12 μg/g. Selenium was quantified by both methods in 310 samples from a variety of species that were submitted to the Toxicology Laboratory at New Bolton Center (Kennett Square, PA) for routine diagnostic testing. Paired measurements for each sample were evaluated by a mean difference plot method. Limits of agreement were used to describe the maximum differences likely to occur between the 2 methods. Results suggest that under the specified conditions ICP-MS can be reliably used in place of AAS for quantitation of tissue Se at or below 2 μg/g to differentiate between adequate and deficient liver Se concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-340
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • HG-AAS
  • ICP-MS
  • Liver selenium
  • Test comparison

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • veterinary(all)

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