Administration of Tumescence in Pediatric Burn Patients Causes Significant Hypertension

Holly B. Weis, Kyle E. Meinhardt, Abu Minhajuddin, Hannah Viroslav, Meaghan Colletti, Joshua J. Weis, Luis R. Taveras, Tarik D. Madni, Jonathan B. Imran, Audra T. Clark, Maryanne L. Pickett, Herbert Phelan, Aditee P. Ambardekar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The effects of injecting tumescence containing phenylephrine in pediatric burn patients are unknown, but anecdotally our clinicians note a high incidence of hypertension requiring treatment. This study sought to determine whether tumescence with phenylephrine was associated with hypertension requiring treatment in our pediatric burn patients. This was a retrospective cohort study of pediatric burn patients who underwent tangential excision with split-thickness autografting, excision alone, or autografting alone from 2013 to 2017. Records were reviewed for hypertensive episodes, defined as ≥2 consecutive blood pressure readings that were >2 SD above normal. Published intraoperative age- and sex-adjusted standards were used to define reference values. Parametric and nonparametric tests were used when appropriate. In total, 258 operations were evaluated. Mean patient age was 7.6 ± 5.2 years, and 64.7% were male. Patients were predominately white (69.8%). Overall, there was a 62.8% incidence of hypertension. On univariate logistic regression analysis, duration of operation, estimated blood loss, treated TBSA, and weight-adjusted volume of tumescence were significant predictors of intraoperative hypertension (P <. 01). On multivariate analysis, weight-adjusted volume of tumescence alone was significantly associated with the presence of hypertension with an odds ratio of 2.0 (95% confidence interval: 1.33-3.04). Of the 162 operations which exhibited at least one episode of significant hypertension, 128 cases (79%) were treated. Intraoperative administration of phenylephrine-containing tumescence in pediatric burn patients is associated with clinically significant hypertension requiring treatment. This practice should be conducted with caution in pediatric burn operations until its clinical implications are defined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)752-756
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 16 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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