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Int Wound J. 2016 Jun;13(3):354-66. doi: 10.1111/iwj.12313. Epub 2014 Jul 8.

Growth factor therapy in patients with partial-thickness burns: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.


Growth factor (GF) therapy has shown promise in treating a variety of refractory wounds. However, evidence supporting its routine use in burn injury remains uncertain. We performed this systematic review and meta-analysis assessing randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to investigate efficacy and safety of GFs in the management of partial-thickness burns. Electronic searches were conducted in PubMed and the Cochrane databases. Endpoint results analysed included wound healing and scar formation. Thirteen studies comprising a total of 1924 participants with 2130 wounds (1131 GF receiving patients versus 999 controls) were identified and included, evaluating the effect of fibroblast growth factor (FGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF) and granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) on partial-thickness burns. Topical application of these agents significantly reduced healing time by 5·02 (95% confidence interval, 2·62 to 7·42), 3·12 (95% CI, 1·11 to 5·13) and 5·1 (95% CI, 4·02 to 6·18) days, respectively, compared with standard wound care alone. In addition, scar improvement following therapy with FGF and EGF was evident in terms of pigmentation, pliability, height and vascularity. No significant increase in adverse events was observed in patients receiving GFs. These results suggested that GF therapy could be an effective and safe add-on to standard wound care for partial-thickness burns. High-quality, adequately powered trials are needed to further confirm the conclusion.


Growth factor; Partial-thickness burn; Wound healing

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