The use of propranolol in adult burn patients: Safety and outcome influence

Burns. 2022 Jun;48(4):767-773. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2021.08.024. Epub 2021 Aug 31.


Objectives: This study investigated safety and effect of propranolol on adult patients with severe burn.

Methods: A prospective study was conducted on 124 severely adult burn patients who were randomly divided into propranolol and non-propranolol group. Propranolol was given by nasogastric tube to achieve the target of lowering 15-20% of initial heart rate.

Results: Average dose of propranolol was 1.9 ± 0.5 mg/kg/day ranging from 0.9 to 3.3 mg/kg/day and was not affected by burn extent and inhalation injury. Mean heart rate reduced by 21.2% during the 28 day period. Recorded adverse events included hypotension (11.9%), bradycardia (1.6%), hypoglycemia (17.7%) and total number of held events was 8 occurring in 7 (11.3%) patients. Serum levels of glucose, total protein, albumin, cholesterol and triglyceride at different times were not significantly different between the two groups. Significantly lower resting energy expenditure on the 7th and 14th day were seen in propranolol group (p < 0.05). After 3 weeks, liver size in the propranolol group did not change significantly from admission, while in the non-propranolol group, liver size increased significantly (p < 0.05). The complete healing time of partial-thickness burns and donor sites were significantly shorter in propranolol group (p < 0.01). Duration of ventilation, length of stay in intensive care unit and in hospital, number of operations, rate of multiple organ failure, and death were not different between the two groups (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: For severely burned adults, propranolol was safe and effective on reducing energy expenditure, limited hepatomegaly, and accelerated partial burn wound and donor site closure, but does not affect length of stay in ICU, hospitalization, complication ormortality rate.

Keywords: Adult; Outcomes; Propranolol; Severe burns.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burns* / complications
  • Burns* / drug therapy
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Propranolol* / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Wound Healing


  • Propranolol