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Burns. 2013 Nov;39(7):1374-9. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2013.04.002. Epub 2013 May 8.

The impact of oxandrolone on length of stay following major burn injury: a clinical practice evaluation.

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University of Utah, Department of Surgery, Burn Center at the University of Utah, United States. Electronic address:



The anabolic agent oxandrolone (OX) has been found to decrease length of stay (LOS) following 20-60% total body surface area (TBSA) burn injury. This study uses the Comprehensive Severity Index (CSI) to control for severity of illness and explores the relationship between OX and LOS in a more broadly selected sample of burn patients and a natural practice setting.


A practice-based evidence study was conducted at a single regional burn center. Maximum severity of illness (MCSIC) was measured using a burn-specific version of CSI. Data on 167 consecutive surviving patients with TBSA≥15% were analyzed using case-control matching for MCSIC, TBSA, and age. Thirty-eight patients received OX.


Median patient age for the entire patient sample was 42.7 years. Using a 1:1 match based upon MCSIC, TBSA, then age, mean LOS for patients who received OX was 33.6 days, as opposed to 43.4 days for those who were not managed with OX (p=0.03). If patients were matched >1:1 for controls: cases, mean LOS was 40.9 days (controls) versus 31.6 days (cases).


OX is associated with shorter LOS after controlling for MCSIC, TBSA, and age. Future comparative effectiveness studies should better define which patients derive the greatest benefits from receipt of OX during their recovery from major burn injury.


Burns; Clinical practice improvement; Length of stay; Oxandrolone; Severity of illness

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