Background/aims: Selenium is an essential trace element for humans. Plasma selenium concentration is decreased in adults with cirrhosis. We aimed to investigate the serum selenium concentration in cirrhotic children. Methods: The serum selenium concentration of 38 patients was determined by spectrofluorometric method. The results of the patients were compared with those of 41 age-and gender-matched healthy children. Correlations between the liver function tests, Child classes and serum selenium concentrations in cirrhotic children were also investigated. Results: The mean serum selenium concentration in cirrhotic children was significantly lower than that of controls (42.4 +/- 8.2 mu g/L vs 64.4 +/- 16.9 mu g/L, p<0.05). There was no significant difference between the serum selenium concentrations of cirrhotic children who were in Child-Pugh class A versus B+C (p>0.05). Except for serum aspartate aminotransferase level (Pearson coefficient = -0.34), there was no correlation between serum selenium concentration and liver function tests in cirrhotic children. Conclusions: Serum selenium concentration in cirrhotic children was found to be low; supportive selenium administration may be beneficial in cirrhotic children in appropriate cases.