Journal:Journal of the American College of Surgeons
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):12, 214, 4, 489-502
BACKGROUND:Oxandrolone, an anabolic agent, has been administered for 1 year post burn with beneficial
effects in pediatric patients. However, the long-lasting effects of this treatment have not been
studied. This single-center prospective trial determined the long-term effects of 1 year of
oxandrolone administration in severely burned children; assessments were continued for up to
4 years post therapy.
STUDY DESIGN: Patients 0 to 18 years old with burns covering 30% of the total body surface area were
randomized to receive placebo (n152) or oxandrolone, 0.1 mg/kg twice daily for 12 months
(n 70). At hospital discharge, patients were randomized to a 12-week exercise program or to
standard of care. Resting energy expenditure, standing height, weight, lean body mass, muscle
strength, bone mineral content (BMC), cardiac work, rate pressure product, sexual maturation,
and concentrations of serum inflammatory cytokines, hormones, and liver enzymes were
RESULTS: Oxandrolone substantially decreased resting energy expenditure and rate pressure product,
increased insulin-like growth factor-1 secretion during the first year after burn injury, and, in
combination with exercise, increased lean body mass and muscle strength considerably.
Oxandrolone-treated children exhibited improved height percentile and BMC content compared
with controls. The maximal effect of oxandrolone was found in children aged 7 to 18
years. No deleterious side effects were attributed to long-term administration.
CONCLUSIONS: Administration of oxandrolone improves long-term recovery of severely burned children in
height, BMC, cardiac work, and muscle strength; the increase in BMC is likely to occur by
means of insulin-like growth factor-1. These benefits persist for up to 5 years post burn. ( J Am
Coll Surg 2012;214:489–504. © 2012 by the American College of Surgeons)