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Indian J Surg. 2009 Aug;71(4):193-7. doi: 10.1007/s12262-009-0056-x. Epub 2009 Sep 2.

Enteral glutamine supplementation reducing infectious morbidity in burns patients: a randomised controlled trial.

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Department of General Surgery, J N Medical College, KLE University, Belgaum, 590 010 India.



Enteral glutamine supplements have been shown to reduce infectious morbidity in trauma patients, but their effect on patients with burns is not completely studied. The objective of this study was to measure the impact of enteral glutamine supplementation on infectious morbidity and in turn, the hospital-stay in patients with burns.


Thirty patients with burns were randomly divided into two groups with 15 patients in each, the study (glutamine supplemented) and control group. Patients were randomised to receive either isonitrogenous mixture without glutamine or isonitrogenous mixture with glutamine until complete healing of the burn wound occurred. Incidence of positive blood culture, wound culture, total leucocyte count, hospital-stay and mortality was recorded.


The results showed that the incidence of positive blood culture was considerably reduced in the study group (0.20±0.41) vs. control (0.73±0.96; p = 0.065). The incidence of positive wound culture was significantly reduced in the study group (1.00 ± 1.25) vs. control (3.53 ± 2.47; p = 0.001). In addition, the wound healing was better and hospital-stay days were reduced in the study group (22.73 ± 9.13 days) vs. (39.73 ± 18.27 days; p = 0.003).


These results indicate that enteral glutamine supplementation in adult burn patients could abate the degree of infectious morbidity and reduce hospital-stay.


Bacteraemia; Bacterial translocation; Burns; Enteral nutrition; Glutamine; Intestine mucosal barrier; Length of care; Morbidity

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