World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 10–15 | Cite as

Burn depth: A review

  • David Heimbach
  • Loren Engrav
  • Baiba Grube
  • Janet Marvin
World Progress In Surgery

Abstract

Despite the plethora of technologic advances, the most common technique for diagnosing burn depth remains the clinical assessment of an experienced burn surgeon. It is clear that this assessment is accurate for very deep and very shallow burns. But since clinical judgment is not precise in telling whether a dermal burn will heal in 3 weeks, efforts to develop a burn depth indicator are certainly warranted to accurately determine which dermal burns to excise and graft. This review summarizes the considerable literature in which a variety of techniques to determine burn depth have been used.

Keywords

Public Health Clinical Assessment Technologic Advance Como Clinical Judgment 

Résumé

En dépit de la pléthore des avances technologiques, la technique la plus utilisée pour le diagnostic de la profondeur des brûlures reste l'évaluation clinique par un chirurgien rompu à ce type de pathologie. Il est clair que cette évaluation est précise en ce qui concerne les brûlures très profondes et très superficielles. Mais, comme l'évaluation clinique n'est pas suffisamment précise pour prédire si une brûlure dermique est capable de cicatriser en moins de 3 semaines, le développement d'un moyen d'évaluation de la profondeur des brûlures est certainement souhaitable afin de déterminer quelles brúlures il faut exciser et greffer. Cette revue résume la littérature considérable sur le sujet et aborde toute une variété de techniques destinées à déterminer la profondeur des brûlures.

Resumen

A pesar de la plétora de avances tecnológicos, la técnica más común para diagnosticar la profundidad de una quemadura sigue siendo la valoración clínica por un cirujano experto en quemaduras. Aparece claro que esta valoración clínica es bastante precisa, tanto para las quemaduras muy profundas como para las muy superficiales. Sin embargo, puesto el juicio clínico no tiene precisión en cuanto a determinar si una quemadura térmica habrá de cicatrizar en tres semanas, los esfuerzos por desarrollar un indicador de profundidad de la quemadura están ciertamente justificados por cuanto nos permitiría determinar cual quemadura debe ser resecada e injertada. La presente revisión resume el considerable volumen de literatura que informa el uso de una variedad de técnicas para determinar la profundidad de la quemadura, tales como la biopsia, los colorantes vitales, la fluorometría con fluorescina, la flujometría con doppler laser, la termografía, la resonancia magnética nuclear y la reflectancia luminosa.

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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Heimbach
    • 1
  • Loren Engrav
    • 1
  • Baiba Grube
    • 1
  • Janet Marvin
    • 1
  1. 1.Harboview Medical CenterThe University of Washington Burn CenterSeattleUSA

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