A novel rapid and selective enzymatic debridement agent for burn wound management: a multi-center RCT

Burns. 2014 May;40(3):466-74. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2013.08.013. Epub 2013 Sep 26.


Objectives: Excisional debridement followed by autografting is the standard of care (SOC) for deep burns, but is associated with serious potential complications. Conservative, non-surgical and current enzymatic debridement methods are inefficiently slow. We determined whether a non-surgical option of rapid enzymatic debridement with the debriding enzyme NexoBrid™ (NXB) would reduce need for surgery while achieving similar esthetic and functional outcomes as SOC.

Methods: We conducted a multi-center, open-label, randomized, controlled clinical trial including patients aged 4-55 years with deep partial and full thickness burns covering 5-30% of their total body surface area (TBSA). Patients were randomly assigned to burn debridement with NXB (applied for 4h) or SOC, which included surgical excisional or non-surgical debridement.

Results: NXB significantly reduced the time from injury to complete débridement (2.2 vs. 8.7 days, P<0.0001), need for surgery (24.5% vs. 70.0%, P<0.0001), the area of burns excised (13.1% vs. 56.7%, P<0.0001) and the need for autografting (17.9% vs. 34.1%, P=0.01). Scar quality and quality of life scores were similar in both study groups as were the rates of adverse events.

Conclusions: Enzymatic débridement with NXB resulted in reduced need for and extent of surgery compared with SOC while achieving comparable long-term results in patients with deep burns.

Trial registration: Clinical Trials.gov NCT00324311.

Keywords: Bromelain; Burn wound; Debrase; Debridase; Debridement; Dermis preservation; Enzymatic debridement; Epithelialization; Eschar; Eschar removal; Escharectomy; Escharotomy; MVSS; NexoBrid; Quality of life; Scarring; Tangential excision.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bromelains / therapeutic use*
  • Burns / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Debridement / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occlusive Dressings*
  • Peptide Hydrolases / therapeutic use*
  • Skin Transplantation / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing
  • Young Adult


  • Bromelains
  • Peptide Hydrolases

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00324311