The Quality of Pediatric Burn Scars Is Improved by Early Administration of Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor

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Abstract

Pediatric burn wounds can be problematic because an accurate evaluation is difficult as the result of anatomically immature vasculature or immobilization failure, especially in patients with second-degree burns, and because the burn surface areas and the burn depth tend to worsen over the course of time. Delayed wound healing results in unsightly scarring, such as hypertrophic scars, which are problematic both esthetically and functionally. Among cytokines and growth factors, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is clinically proven, having demonstrated accelerated acute and chronic wound healing. Accelerated wound healing may lead to improved scarring. To elucidate the effects of bFGF on second-degree pediatric burn wounds, a comparative study was performed. A total of 20 pediatric patients ranging from 8 month to 3 years (average 1 year, 3 months ± 6 months) who suffered from the burns by various causes were divided into two groups, conventional (n = 10) and treatment with bFGF (n = 10). A moisture meter, used to objectively measure the stratum corneum and epithelial—mesenchymal functions, was used to assess scars at least 1 year after wound healing. Clinical evaluation of pigmentation, pliability, height, and vascularity demonstrated significant differences between conventional and bFGF-treated scars (1.7 ± 0.55 vs 0.7 ± 0.58, 2.4 ± 0.82 vs 1.1 ± 0.69, 1.8 ± 0.66 vs 0.5 ± 0.57, 1.9 ± 0.63 vs 0.8 ± 0.68; conventional vs bFGF-treated, pigmentation, pliability, height, and vascularity, respectively, P < .01). The effective contact coefficient was significantly greater in conventional wounds than bFGF-treated wounds (14.6 ± 1.68 % vs 8.7 ± 2.82 %; conventional vs bFGF, P < .01) and bFGF-treated wounds demonstrated significantly less transepidermal water loss values than conventional treatment (8.3 ± 1.90 g/m2/h vs 5.7 ± 1.85 g/m2/hr; conventional vs bFGF, P < .01). Pediatric burn patients treated with bFGF showed less damaging function of the stratum corneum after healing both in clinical assessment and moisture meter analysis.

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