Daily caloric requirements in patients with major burns are frequently estimated using the Curreri formula (25 × body weight (kg) + 40 × % BSA burned). In nonburned patients modifications of the Harris-Benedict formulas have been used to estimate energy requirements. These equations have not been validated against measured energy expenditures in burned patients.
Thirty-five patients with second- and third-degree burns covering from 10 to 75% of the body surface area underwent assessments of energy expenditures by indirect calorimetry and by the Curreri and Harris-Benedict formulas. The mean energy expenditure calculated from the Harris-Benedict formulas (BEE) underestimated the mean measured energy expenditure (MEE) by 23% (p < 0.001), while the mean energy expenditure calculated from the Curreri formula (CEE) overestimated the mean MEE by 58% (p < 0.001). There were significant correlations between the MEE, BEE, and CEE. In patients with burns greater than 20% of the body surface area, the correlation between MEE and BEE was higher than that found with the Curreri formula.
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