Predictors of re-epithelialization in pediatric burn

Brown, Nadia J., Kimble, Roy M., Gramotnev, Galina, Rodger, Sylvia, & Cuttle, Leila (2014) Predictors of re-epithelialization in pediatric burn. Burns, 40(4), pp. 751-758.

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An important treatment goal for burn wounds is to promote early wound closure. This study identifies factors associated with delayed re-epithelialization following pediatric burn.


Data were collected from August 2011 to August 2012, at a pediatric tertiary burn center. A total of 106 burn wounds were analyzed from 77 participants aged 4-12 years. Percentage of wound re-epithelialization at each dressing change was calculated using Visitrak. Mixed effect regression analysis was performed to identify the demographic factors, wound and clinical characteristics associated with delayed re-epithelialization.


Burn depth determined by laser Doppler imaging, ethnicity, pain scores, total body surface area (TBSA), mechanism of injury and days taken to present to the burn center were significant predictors of delayed re-epithelialization, accounting for 69% of variance. Flame burns delayed re-epithelialization by 39% compared to all other mechanisms (p=0.003). When initial presentation to the burn center was on day 5, burns took an average of 42% longer to re-epithelialize, compared to those who presented on day 2 post burn (p<0.000). Re-epithelialization was delayed by 14% when pain scores were reported as 10 (on the FPS-R), compared to 4 on the first dressing change (p=0.015) for children who did not receive specialized preparation/distraction intervention. A larger TBSA was also a predictor of delayed re-epithelialization (p=0.030). Darker skin complexion re-epithelialized 25% faster than lighter skin complexion (p=0.001).


Burn depth, mechanism of injury and TBSA are always considered when developing the treatment and surgical management plan for patients with burns. This study identifies other factors influencing re-epithelialization, which can be controlled by the treating team, such as effective pain management and rapid referral to a specialized burn center, to achieve optimal outcomes.

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11 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 67189
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Re-epithelialization, Burns, Pediatric, Child
DOI: 10.1016/j.burns.2013.09.027
ISSN: 0305-4179
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 27 Feb 2014 04:19
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2014 01:53

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