Iron metabolism in burned children

J. A. Belmonte, L. Ibáñez, M. R. Ras, C. Aulesa, J. Vinzo, J. Iglesias, J. Carol

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The administration of iron supplementation in children with burns has been a subject of controversy. Recent studies argue against its use in the acute phase of stress. To assess whether iron metabolism parameters show significant differences in the acute phase and the recovery phase of burn, 21 patients (age range: 17 months to 13 years) with burns of more than 10% of body surface who had not received blood transfusions or iron supplementation were studied. Sideraemia, ferritin, transferrin, transferrin saturation index (TSI) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were assessed both in the acute and the recovery phase after burn. Sideraemia, transferrin, and TSI were significantly lower in the acute than in the recovery phase (17.3 ± 3 vs 53.8 ± 6.6 μg/dL, 190.5 ± 15 vs 287.9 ± 14.3 mg/dL and 7.7 ± 1.3 vs 15.4 ± 1.6%, P < 0.0001, P < 0.001 and P = 0.0006, respectively) while plasma ferritin and CRP were significantly higher (84.7 ± 8.8 vs 43.1 ± 8.5 ng/mL and 9.5 ± 1.5 vs 0.7 ± 0.2 mg/dL, P = 0.016 and P < 0.0001, respectively). When the above parameters were analysed based on age (≤ 2 years, > 2 years), the observed differences persisted. Conclusion: Hyposideraemia is a frequent finding in the acute phase of paediatric burns and is accompanied by increased ferritin levels and decreased transferrin concentrations. The low iron values tend to recover without the use of iron supplementation suggesting an endogenous block of iron release in the acute phase and indicates that iron therapy should be not recommended in the initial period of stress of the burned patient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-559
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 1999


  • Burns
  • Iron metabolism


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