Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):05, 31, 1, 60-66
Severe burn injuries are associated with growth delays a persistent hypermetabolic response and severe muscle catabolism and wasting. Growth hormone (GH), a potent anabolic agent and salutary modulator of post-traumatic metabolic responses has been shown to decrease muscle wasting, improve net protein synthesis and attenuate growth delays in burned children. In non-burned populations, GH has recently been shown to be of benefit in enhancing cardiac performance and improving cardiac contractility and efficiency. Yet, whether administration of GH will induce similar improvements in cardiac function in severely burned children is presently unknown. We therefore, investigated whether the administration of GH initiated upon hospital discharge (95% healed) and continued for 1-year post-burn would improve resting cardiac function in burned children. Severely burned children were randomized to receive either saline placebo (n = 37) or 0.05 mg/kg per day of GH (n = 39) from discharge until 12-month post-burn. Outcome variables included height, weight, lean body mass, resting energy expenditure, cardiac index, stroke-volume index, heart rate and left ventricular ejection fraction. Results: height, weight, lean body mass and ejection fraction showed a significant increase with GH. Our results indicate that severely burned children treated with long-term GH show a significant improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction.