Comparison of resting energy expenditures and caloric intake in children with severe burns

Dennis C. Gore, Randi L. Rutan, Marsha Hildreth, Manu H. Desai, David N. Herndon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Nutritional support is provided to children after severe burn injuries in amounts derived from empirical formulas or measurements of resting energy expenditure. To scrutinize these methods, indirect calorimetry measurements were performed on 74 survivors of burns (⩾40% total body surface area) and compared to their actual caloric intake, percent weight change, and optimal caloric requirements formulated from the Curreri and Shriners’ equations. These parameters showed that in spite of an initial deficit in actual caloric intake as compared to formulated goals, weight was maintained, whereas resting energy expenditures ranged from 30% to 40% below the actual caloric intake. Furthermore, a subgroup of patients (n = 42) who met ± 20% of their formulated needs were stratified by extent of burn; this illustrated a significant weight gain in the more severely burned children. In conclusion, nutritional formulas in popular use overestimate caloric requirements in severe burns, whereas resting energy expenditure measurements require an additional factor of 30% to maintain body weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-404
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • General Nursing
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • General Health Professions


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