Urea and protein metabolism in burned children: Effect of dietary protein intake

Bruce W. Patterson, Thuan Nguyen, Edgar Pierre, David N. Herndon, Robert R. Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


The response of urea metabolic kinetics, the rate of whole-body protein breakdown, and muscle and skin protein synthesis rates to dietary protein intake (1.15 to 2.92 g/kg/d) was assessed in children with 20% to 40% total body surface area burn injury using a primed continuous infusion of 15N2- urea and L-13C6-phenylalanine. Plasma urea concentration, production, and excretion rates increased with dietary protein intake without evidence of approaching maximum plateau values. There was no consistent evidence of urea recycling in these subjects (urea production = excretion) at any level of protein intake. The rate of appearance (Ra) of phenylalanine (an index of whole-body protein breakdown) and rate of muscle protein synthesis were independent of dietary protein, whereas there was a significant increase in skin protein synthesis with higher protein intake. We conclude that there seems to be little benefit of high protein intake on whole-body protein breakdown end muscle protein synthesis rates in these burn patients, although high-protein diets may enhance wound healing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-578
Number of pages6
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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