Long-term propranolol use in severely burned pediatric patients: A randomized controlled study

David N. Herndon, Noe A. Rodriguez, Eva C. Diaz, Sachin Hegde, Kristofer Jennings, Ronald P. Mlcak, Jaipreet S. Suri, Jong O. Lee, Felicia N. Williams, Walter Meyer, Oscar E. Suman, Robert E. Barrow, Marc G. Jeschke, Celeste C. Finnerty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the safety and efficacy of propranolol given for 1 year on cardiac function, resting energy expenditure, and body composition in a prospective, randomized, single-center, controlled study in pediatric patients with large burns. Background: Severe burns trigger a hypermetabolic response that persists for up to 2 years postburn. Propranolol given for 1 month postburn blunts this response. Whether propranolol administration for 1 year after injury provides a continued benefit is currently unclear. Methods: One-hundred seventy-nine pediatric patients with more than 30% total body surface area burns were randomized to control (n = 89) or 4 mg/kg/d propranolol (n = 90) for 12 months postburn. Changes in resting energy expenditure, cardiac function, and body composition were measured acutely at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months postburn. Statistical analyses included techniques that adjusted for non-normality, repeated-measures, and regression analyses. P < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: Long-term propranolol treatment significantly reduced the percentage of the predicted heart rate and percentage of the predicted resting energy expenditure, decreased accumulation of central mass and central fat, prevented bone loss, and improved lean body mass accretion. There were very few adverse effects from the dose of propranolol used. Conclusions: Propranolol treatment for 12 months after thermal injury, ameliorates the hyperdynamic, hypermetabolic, hypercatabolic, and osteopenic responses in pediatric patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-411
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • beta blockade
  • hypermetabolism
  • lean body mass
  • propranolol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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