gms | German Medical Science

33. Jahrestagung der Deutschsprachigen Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Verbrennungsbehandlung (DAV 2015)

14.01. - 17.01.2015, Leogang, Österreich

Prospective evaluation of fractional CO2 laser treatment of mature burn scars

Meeting Abstract

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  • S. Blome-Eberwein - Lehigh Valley Hospital Network, Allentown, PA, United States

Deutschsprachige Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Verbrennungsbehandlung. 33. Jahrestagung der Deutschsprachigen Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Verbrennungsbehandlung (DAV 2015). Leogang, Österreich, 14.-17.01.2015. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2015. Doc15dav10.07

doi: 10.3205/15dav90, urn:nbn:de:0183-15dav902

Published: March 9, 2015

© 2015 Blome-Eberwein.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Fractional CO2 laser treatment is one of the few interventions capable of treating burn scars. A study published in the Journal of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine showed the histologic changes induced after fractional CO2 treatment. This is a prospective study of fractional CO2 laser treatment of mature burn scars, comparing objective and subjective scar measurements evaluating at least one treatment and one control scar on the same patient pre- and post treatments.

Burn survivors with mature Burn scars were invited to enter the study. Fractional CO2 Laser treatments were performed in an office setting at 40 to 90 mJ , 100–150 spots per cm2. Three treatments were performed in at least 4 week intervals. Subjective and objective measurements were performed before and at least one month after the treatment series on both, the treated and the control scar. IRB approval was obtained.

Results: A total of 80 scars, 48 treatment and 32 control scars, were included in the study. There was mild irritation and swelling post treatment in the treated scars. No blister formation or infection was noted. Treatment pain score averaged at 4.7/10 during and at 2.4/10 5 minutes after the treatment. By day 3 no more noticeable discomfort was reported.

All treated scars showed improvement. Objectively measured thickness, sensation, erythema and pigmentation improved significantly in the treated scars (p=0.001, 0.001, 0.004 and 0.001). Vancouver scar scale assessments by an independent observer improved from 8 to 6, self-reported pain and pruritus remained unchanged in both groups.

Fractional CO2 laser treatment is a promising entity in the treatment of burn scars. Our results show significant differences in objective measurements between the treated scars and the untreated control scars. The patient observer- as well as the Vancouver scar scales seem questionable as a reliable assessment tool in scar treatment studies.