Plasma and blood metabolites were measured in 31 children over the first day after burn injury. In 14 of them blood glucose peaked, rising within 1-4h to 10-20 mmol/l and then falling, by 4-8 h, to 5-10 mmol/l. Usually the peak value preceded treatment and the fall occurred during infusion of dextrose-saline. Peak incidence was independent of burn severity. There was no evidence of similar peaks in children or adults with other injuries, or in 8 adults with burn injuries; through high glucose levels have been reported in children with head injuries. Lactate, non-esterified fatty acids, insulin, cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine were also measured. Values in the first 4 h were similar to those reported in adults with other injuries, except for lactate, which rose less in the children. Unexpectedly, the hyperglycemia in the children with burns was poorly related to epinephrine concentration at all times to 24h. Insulin resistance probably developed within the first hour or two; but from 8 h did not seem to depend on synergism between epinephrine and cortisol.
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