The factor age and the recovery of severely burned children
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PURPOSE: It is not known if the recovery of pediatric burn patients is age-dependent. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of age on the recovery of body composition of severely burned children. PROCEDURES: Pediatric patients with massive burns, >or= 40% of total body surface area, were followed over 2 years. Patients were divided into two age groups: 0-3.9 years old and 4-17.9 years old at the time of burn. Body composition was determined at hospital discharge, 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 months after burn using dual-X-ray absorptiometry. Data analysis was performed using a two way ANOVA followed by Tukey's correction when appropriate. Significance was accepted at p<0.05. FINDINGS: Twenty-four patients were enrolled (age 0-3.9: n=9; age 4-17.9: n=15). Percent changes in height and bone mineral content were significantly increased in the younger age group, p<0.05. In contrast, percent changes in lean body mass were significantly lower in younger patients, p<0.05. Percent changes in total body fat mass were not affected. CONCLUSION: Patterns of recovery in pediatric burn patients are determined by age. This observation should be considered in the development of therapeutic approaches.
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