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Ann Surg. 2014 Apr;259(4):814-23. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e31828dfbf1.

Survivors versus nonsurvivors postburn: differences in inflammatory and hypermetabolic trajectories.

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  • 1*Shriners Hospitals for Children †Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch ‡Institute for Translational Science and Sealy Center for Molecular Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX §Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany ¶Ross Tilley Burn Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Sunnybrook Research Institute, Departments of Surgery and Immunology, Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



To evaluate whether a panel of common biomedical markers can be utilized as trajectories to determine survival in pediatric burn patients.


Despite major advances in clinical care, of the more than 1 million people burned in the United States each year, more than 4500 die as a result of their burn injuries. The ability to predict patient outcome or anticipate clinical trajectories using plasma protein expression would allow personalization of clinical care to optimize the potential for patient survival.


A total of 230 severely burned children with burns exceeding 30% of the total body surface, requiring at least 1 surgical procedure were enrolled in this prospective cohort study. Demographics, clinical outcomes, and inflammatory and acute-phase responses (serum cytokines, hormones, and proteins) were determined at admission and at 11 time points for up to 180 days postburn. Statistical analysis was performed using a 1-way analysis of variance, the Student t test, χ test, and Mann-Whitney test where appropriate.


Survivors and nonsurvivors exhibited profound differences in critical markers of inflammation and metabolism at each time point. Nonsurvivors had significantly higher serum levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, C-reactive protein, glucose, insulin, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and bilirubin (P < 0.05). Furthermore, nonsurvivors exhibited a vastly increased hypermetabolic response that was associated with increases in organ dysfunction and sepsis when compared with survivors (P < 0.05).


Nonsurvivors have different trajectories in inflammatory, metabolic, and acute phase responses allowing differentiation of nonsurvivors from survivors and now possibly allowing novel predictive models to improve and personalize burn outcomes.

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