Renal blood flow was elevated in convalescent burn patients shortly before discharge (992±112 mL/min/sq m in burn patients vs 551±37 mL/min/sq m in normal subjects; mean±SE). Autopsy studies demonstrated that renal enlargement was a constant feature of patients after a prolonged hospital course; the kidneys of 28 patients who died after 60 days of hospitalization weighed 241±10 g vs 153±8 g in control subjects. The increase in renal weight was primarily related to cellular hypertrophy and hyperplasia. These physiological and morphological findings in thermally injured patients may be a form of renal work hypertrophy following increased protein catabolism accompanying severe injury.
(JAMA 244:1588-1590, 1980)