In the management of partial thickness burns, it is difficult to balance between conservative management and surgical intervention. Our hypothesis was that a triangular relationship exists between protease/anti-protease profile at the burn wound surface, angiogenesis and re-epithelialisation. By manipulation of the biochemical profile at the wound level, we determined to affect the nature and extent of angiogenesis and resulting re-epithelialisation. We performed a randomised longitudinal observational study on partial thickness burns in adult patients presenting to two regional burns units. Our results demonstrated that a high-protease wound environment is associated with lower levels of the angiogenic factor VEGF, a lower more uniform change in wound bloodflow and a uniform well healed wound with an architecturally normal epidermis. In addition, we found that a low protease wound environment is associated with higher levels of the angiogenic factor VEGF, a higher wound bloodflow throughout the wound healing period and a more chaotic, hypercellular, overkeratinised, and chaotic thickened epidermis.
- Partial thickness burns
- Protease/anti-protease profile
- Randomised longitudinal observational study
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine