Ultrasound assessment of scald scars in Asian children receiving pressure garment therapy

W. Cheng, H. Saing, H. Zhou, Y. Han, W. Peh, P. K.H. Tam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Purpose: Scar formation after scald injury in children is managed commonly by application of pressure garment. The duration of the treatment depends on clinical assessment. The objective of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of the pressure garment therapy and to correlate the clinical assessment scar thickness with ultrasound measurement. Methods: Prospective study of children with hypertrophic scars receiving pressure garment therapy was carried out between 1993 and 1998. The scars were mapped with paper cutting. Representative scar sites were scored clinically according to Vancouver General Hospital Burn Assessment Scale (pigmentation, vascularity, pliability, height, pain, itchiness). Blind to the clinical results, 2 radiologists measured the scar thickness of the same sites with ultrasonography (5 to 10 MHz transducer, General Electric LOGIQ 500). The correlation between the clinical scores and ultrasound measurement of scar thickness were analysed using analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results: The median age of 58 children with scald injury (M:F = 36:22) was 2.8 years (0.5 to 15.8 years). The mean percentage of scald was 8.8% (24% had scald area >10%). In addition, there were 5 children with burn from naked flame and 9 children with keloid secondary to surgical incisions. With pressure garment therapy, the scar thickness reached a plateau 1 1/2 years after the injury and began to decline gradually thereafter. The clinical estimation of scar thickness correlated well with the ultrasound measurement (ANOVA, P = .003, Adjusted R square = 0,99). The accuracy rate of clinical thickness estimation was 67%. Overestimation and underestimation accounted for 15% and 18%, respectively. There also was good correlation between total clinical score and the ultrasound measurement (ANOVA, P < .001). Conclusions: In children with scald injury, the pressure garment needs to be continued for a minimum of 1 year. Ultrasound measurement correlates well with overall score of the Vancouver General Hospital Burn Assessment Scale but not individual components of the scoring system except wound height.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-469
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Burn assessment
  • Hypertrophic scar
  • Keloid
  • Pressure garments
  • Scald
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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