Burn Wounds And Enzymatic Debridement (Ed) - Past, Present, And Future

J Burn Care Res. 2024 Apr 8:irae059. doi: 10.1093/jbcr/irae059. Online ahead of print.


Excision of necrotic and devitalized tissues of deep burns is key for optimal care of burn injuries. However, the modality of early tangential excision followed by skin grafting proposed by Zora Janzekovic five decades ago was not received initially with great enthusiasm. At present, it developed to become the standard of care (SOC) despite the special expertise it necessitates and the general anesthesia it requires in addition to several drawbacks including excessive blood loss, risk of hypothermia, and most important potential excision of normal non-burned tissues. Conservative non-surgical selective enzymatic debridement (ED) at present is becoming more popular as an adjunct or even an alternative approach. A systematic review of PubMed electronic database was conducted to identify all experimental and clinical studies about ED of burn wounds. Additional separate searches were also conducted to identify any reports missed by the initial systematic review. Full texts of 59 reports (42 clinical and 17 experimental studies) were retrieved for analysis. 46 studies (11 experimental and 35 clinical) were about the pineapple extract debriding agent. 23 clinical studies describing promising favorable results with pineapple bromelain-based debridement (BBD) concentrate were published in the last 3 years (2020-2023). Though available evidence is not entirely in favor of replacing the current surgical SOC with BBD, it certainly presents ED as a highly advantageous modality for management of burn wounds. Newly described keratinase and SN514 also are promising new products. They both still await further investigation before being clinically adopted.