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Systematic review of fibrin glue in burn wound reconstruction. BJS 2019; 106: 165-173.

Published: 6th February 2019

Authors: R. Miller, J. C. R. Wormald, R. G. Wade, D. P. Collins


In the reconstruction of burns using split‐skin grafts (SSGs), fibrin glue can be used to improve graft take and reduce haematoma formation, although the efficacy and cost‐effectiveness are unknown. This systematic review evaluated outcomes of fibrin glue compared with conventional SSG attachment techniques. Outcomes of interest included SSG take, haematoma formation, patient satisfaction and cost‐effectiveness.


This PROSPERO‐registered review was performed in accordance with the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions and PRISMA statement. Embase, PubMed, Cochrane and ClinicalTrial.gov databases were searched systematically. Observational and experimental studies comparing fibrin glue with other methods of SSG attachment in burn wounds were included. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane risk‐of‐bias and Risk of Bias In Non‐Randomized Studies – of Intervention tools. The quality of the evidence was assessed using the GRADE tool.


Two RCTs and four observational studies were included. Graft take at day 5 was not significantly different between groups (3 studies, 183 individuals). Fibrin glue significantly reduced the risk of postoperative haematoma in two studies and reduced patient‐reported pain in two studies, with suggested cost savings in four studies. All studies were at risk of methodological bias and the quality of the evidence was universally very low.


As the evidence is sparse, the quality very low and the risk of bias significant both within and across studies, it is not possible to make any recommendations regarding the use of fibrin glue in burn wounds.

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