Propranolol reduces cardiac index but does not adversely affect peripheral perfusion in severely burned children

Paul Wurzer, Ludwik K. Branski, Robert P. Clayton, Gabriel Hundeshagen, Abigail A. Forbes, Charles Voigt, Clark R. Andersen, Lars P. Kamolz, Lee C Woodson, Oscar E. Suman, Celeste C. Finnerty, David Herndon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: The aim of this study was to quantify the effect of propranolol on hemodynamic parameters assessed using the PiCCO system in burned children. Methods: We analyzed hemodynamic data from patients who were randomized to receive either propranolol (4 mg/kg/day) or placebo (control), which was initiated as a prospective randomized controlled trial. Endpoints were cardiac index (CI), percent predicted heart rate (%HR), mean arterial pressure (MAP), percent predicted stroke volume (%SV), rate pressure product (RPP), cardiac work (CW), systemic vascular resistance index (SVRI), extravascular lung water index (EVLWI), arterial blood gases, events of lactic acidosis, and mortality. Mixed multiple linear regressions were applied, and a 95% level of confidence was assumed. Results: One hundred twenty-one burned children (control: n=62, propranolol: n=59) were analyzed. Groups were comparable in demographics, EVLWI, SVRI, %SV, arterial blood gases, Denver 2 postinjury organ failure score, incidence of lactic acidosis, or mortality. Percent predicted HR, MAP, CI, CW, and RPP were significantly reduced in the propranolol-treated group (P<0.01). Conclusions: Propranolol significantly reduces cardiogenic stress by reducing CI and MAP in children with severe burn injury. However, peripheral oxygen delivery was not reduced and events of lactic acidosis as well as organ dysfunction was not higher in propranolol treated patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-491
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Burns
  • Cardiac index
  • Cardiac output
  • Hypermetabolism
  • Transpulmonary thermodilution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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