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Neuropathy After Burn Injury

Kowalske, K. MD; Holavanahalli, R. PhD; Helm, P. MD

Features: Burn Rehabilitation Forum

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the incidence of neuropathy in a consecutive cohort of patients with major burn injuries and investigate the clinical correlates for both mononeuropathy and generalized peripheral polyneuropathy. Of 572 patients examined, 64 (11%) patients had clinical evidence of mononeuropathy or peripheral neuropathy or both. Associations of mononeuropathy and peripheral neuropathy with potential risk factors were identified using logistic regression analyses. Electrical cause (odds ratio [OR] = 4.1022, P < .01), history of alcohol abuse (OR = 2.2893, P <.05), and number of days in intensive care (OR = 1.0457, P < .001) were significantly associated with mononeuropathy. The number of days in intensive care (OR = 1.0740, P < .001) and patient age (OR = 1.0543, P < .01) were significantly associated with peripheral neuropathy. This study demonstrates that neuropathy is a common complication of severe burn injury in patients who are older, critically ill, have an electrical cause, or history of alcohol abuse.

Dallas, Texas

From the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas.

Reprint Requests: K. Kowalske, MD, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, UT Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, Texas 75390-9055.

Supported by grant #H133A970023 from The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Department of Education, Washington, D.C.

Presented at the meeting of the American Burn Association, Las Vegas, Nevada, March 14 to 17, 2000.

©2001The American Burn Association