Background: Major trauma and burns are associated with whole body catabolism which can persist for 1 or more years after injury. This study investigates body composition in massively burned children for up to 2 years.
Methods: Twenty-five pediatric patients with greater than 40% total body surface area burns were studied. At discharge, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after burn height, weight, body composition, resting energy expenditure (REE), serum growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), insulin, cortisol, parathyroid hormone, and thyroid hormones were measured. Tukey’s test was used for analysis. Significance was accepted at p < 0.05.
Results: Lean body mass, fat mass, bone mineral content, height, and weight increased significantly during the second year after burn. Percent predicted REE decreased significantly, whereas IGFBP-3 and parathyroid hormone levels increased significantly over time. Insulin and T3 uptake were significantly higher at discharge.
Conclusions: Body composition of severely burned children significantly improved in the second year compared with the first year after injury. This demonstrates a need for long-term rehabilitation in these burn patients.