Assessment of muscle function in severely burned children

Shashi M. Alloju, David N. Herndon, Serina J. McEntire, Oscar E. Suman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Introduction: The posttraumatic response to a severe burn leads to marked and prolonged skeletal muscle catabolism and weakness, which persist despite standard rehabilitation programs of occupational and physical therapy. We investigated the degree to which the prolonged skeletal muscle catabolism affects the muscle function of children 6 months after severe burn. Methods: Burned children, with >40% total body surface area burned, were assessed at 6 months after burn in respect to lean body mass and leg muscle strength at 150°/s. Lean body mass was assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Leg muscle strength was assessed using isokinetic dynamometry. Nonburned children were assessed similarly, and served as controls. Results: We found that severely burned children (n = 33), relative to nonburned children (n = 46) had significantly lower lean body mass. Additionally they had significantly lower peak torque as well total work performance using the extensors of the thigh. Conclusions: Our results serve as an objective and a practical clinical approach for assessing muscle function and also aid in establishing potential rehabilitation goals, and monitoring progress towards these goals in burned children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-459
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Burns
  • Lean mass
  • Peak torque
  • Total work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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