The role of interstitial starling forces in the pathogenesis of burn edema

Michael P. Kinsky, Somes C. Guha, Brian M. Button, George C. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The formation and sustainability of burn edema require substantial change in net microvascular forces. We directly measured interstitial hydrostatic pressure (Pi) and total interstitial absorptive pressure (Pi +IIi), in dermis of anesthetized sheep, before and after a 70% to 85% total body surface area scald and during fluid resuscitation. The most rapid change occurred in Pi in the burn wound, which rapidly decreased from its baseline value of approximately -2 mm Hg to -11 mm Hg in the first 5 minutes, and thereafter increased but remained approximately -4 mm Hg through 4 hours of resuscitation. Pi in nonburned skin slowly increased from its preburn level -2 mm Hg, to become positive +1 mm Hg after 4 hours of resuscitation. The total interstitial absorptive pressure, Pi +IIi, slowly declined similarly from 15 to 16 mm Hg to approximately 10 to 11 mm Hg over 6 hours of resuscitation in both burned and nonburned dermis. Taken together, these data suggest that the rapid formation of burn edema is the result of development of a negative Pi in the burn wound, and its sustainability is the result of a large increase in interstitial compliance. Edema in nonburned skin did not start until after fluid resuscitation was initiated, and then developed as the plasma oncotic pressure declined from 21 to 10 mm Hg. (J Burn Care Rehabil 1998;19:1-9).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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