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Burns. 2012 Aug;38(5):767-71. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2011.11.007. Epub 2012 Feb 23.

Treatment outcomes for keloid scar management in the pediatric burn population.

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University of Cincinnati, Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Hand Surgery, Cincinnati, OH 45267, United States.



Keloids scars are challenging problems facing many reconstructive surgeons and have proven to be resistant to many treatments. This is evident by the broad range of treatments available and implemented with inconsistent results. We reviewed our experience to better define the disorder and to evaluate the impact of specific treatment options as related to our patient population.


After obtaining Institutional Review Board approval, we examined the medical records of pediatric patients who were evaluated at our pediatric burn center between 2000 to 2008. All study subjects were identified as having keloid scars confirmed by clinical evaluation (raised scar extending beyond the margins of the original wound [1,2]). Treatments included excision and grafting [split thickness autograft (STAG) or full thickness autograft (FTAG)], excision and grafting with steroid injection, excision and primary closure, or excision and primary closure with steroid injection. Patients were included only if there was follow-up of 12 months or greater.


One hundred and ten subjects with a diagnosis of a keloid scar were identified. Twenty-six were treated with excision and skin grafting and 8 were treated with a steroid and surgery regimen. Of the patients treated with surgery and steroids, the treatment varied from an intra-operative injection to post-operative injections at 6-week intervals. The number of injections was determined by the administering surgeon and varied from one to three. Clinical end points were determined by the administering surgeon and included: (1) no further improvement in scar maturation or (2) absence of improvement. Recurrence was defined as return of a raised scar consistent with a keloid scar. The recurrence rate was 87.5% for patients treated with surgery and steroids and 80.0% for surgery only. This difference was not statistically significant.


Our data demonstrate that steroids do not significantly decrease recurrence in pediatric burn related keloids as compared to previously published series involving non-burn related keloids [3,5]. This further emphasizes that burn related keloids respond differently to conventional treatments that have proven successful in keloid scars from other mechanisms of injury. A consistent and effective treatment algorithm should be implemented in treating keloid scars from burn wounds.

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