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Singapore Med J. 2008 Aug;49(8):627-30.

The alteration of plasma's zinc and copper levels in patients with burn injuries and the relationship to the time after burn injuries.

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Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.



Burn injury is a medical problem as well as a social burden on the national health services in developing countries. Trace elements have important roles in wound healing and act as antioxidants. In this study, zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) levels in plasma of burned patients and their relationship with the burn surface area and time-related pattern are determined in the admitted patients after burn injury.


37 patients were divided into two groups: Group 1 consisted of 16 patients with burn injuries less than 20 percent of the total burn surface area, and Group 2 consisted of 21 patients with burn injuries between 20 and 40 percent of the total burn surface area. The control group consisted of 20 subjects. The Zn and Cu levels were determined one, three, seven and 14 days after the occurrence of burn injury. These trace elements were determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometer.


These trace elements in plasma significantly decreased on all days after admission and the levels were lower than those of the control group. There was no significant relationship between Groups 1 and 2 in Cu and Zn concentrations on different days. We did not find any difference between burn surface area and Zn and Cu concentrations in these groups.


Based on the critical role of plasma's Zn and Cu rate in wound healing and their relationship in decreasing the burn injury, it is important that patients having burn types II and III take Zn and Cu supplements continuously as micronutrients after burn injury.

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