Effects of Propranolol in Accelerating Wound Healing and Attenuation of Hypermetabolism in Adult Burn Patients

J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2020 Jan;30(1):46-50. doi: 10.29271/jcpsp.2020.01.46.


Objective: To compare the mean duration of wound healing and attenuation of muscle wasting in adult burn patients treated with propranolol and control group.

Study design: A randomised controlled trial.

Place and duration of study: Allied Burn and Reconstructive Surgery Center, Faisalabad from March to August 2018.

Methodology: Seventy adult burn patients with 20-40% burn of the total body surface area (TBSA) were included in the study and divided into two groups; propranolol group and control group. Propranolol was administered at dose of 0.5-3 mg/Kg body weight per day along with standard burn care treatment during the entire period of treatment.

Results: Faster healing of the superficial burns was noticed in the patients of propranolol group. In superficial burns lesser time was needed for adequate healing; 13.20 ±1.90 days versus 20.34 ±2.32 days (p <0.001). At the same time, lesser time was required for deep burn patients treated with propranolol to be ready for skin grafting; 23.87 ±2.36 versus 33.64 ±3.15 days; p <0.001) comparing control group. Mean mid-arm circumference was 27.57 ±1.62 cm in study group and 24.46 ±1.77 cm in control group (p<0.0001) which was statistically significant. This result showed that hypermetabolic response of burn in terms of muscle wasting was clearly modulated by betablocker therapy.

Conclusion: Propranolol administration in adult burn patients appears to be beneficial in reducing morbidity, mortality and hospital stay by enhancing earlier wound healing and attenuating the catabolic muscle wasting in response to stress caused by burn.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Adult
  • Burns / complications*
  • Burns / drug therapy*
  • Burns / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Propranolol / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wasting Syndrome / etiology
  • Wasting Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Wound Healing


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Propranolol