Impaired zinc and copper status in children with burn injuries: Need to reassess nutritional requirements

V. Saroja Voruganti, Gordon L. Klein, Hong Xing Lu, Suchmor Thomas, Jeanne H. Freeland-Graves, David N. Herndon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Major burns are associated with impaired Zn and Cu status. These micronutrients are essential for bone matrix formation, linear growth, and wound healing. This study evaluated the status of Zn and Cu in burned children and assessed adequacy of supplementation. Six children, mean total body surface area (TBSA), 54 ± 9% (S.D.), were recruited. Nutrient intakes, plasma, wound exudate, and 24 h urine samples were collected and analyzed for Zn and Cu. Bone mineral content was assessed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Dietary Zn and Cu were three times the dietary reference, and mean plasma concentrations of Zn and Cu were low at admission and discharge. Urinary Zn was elevated at admission, whereas Cu was elevated at both times. Wound Zn and Cu concentrations exceeded plasma concentrations, suggesting that inflammatory wound exudate was a primary route of loss. We demonstrate that burn injury in children results in low plasma levels of Zn and Cu that are inadequately compensated during hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-716
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Burns
  • Copper
  • Nutritional requirements
  • Wound exudate
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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