Eschar removal by bromelain based enzymatic debridement (Nexobrid®) in burns: An European consensus

Christoph Hirche, Antonella Citterio, Henk Hoeksema, Ján Koller, Martina Lehner, José Ramón Martinez, Stan Monstrey, Alexandra Murray, Jan A Plock, Frank Sander, Alexandra Schulz, Benjamin Ziegler, Ulrich Kneser

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

98 Citations (Scopus)


Early debridement and/or eschar removal is regarded as a significant step in the treatment of deep partial and full thickness burns. It aims to control wound bioburden and allows early wound closure by conservative treatment or skin grafting. Preservation of viable dermis accompanied by early wound closure, is regarded as a necessary step to reduce scar related complication, e.g. functional limitations and/or unaesthetic scar formation. Aside from the classical techniques of surgical excision as tangential excision for eschar removal, hydro-surgery, maggot therapy, laser, enzymatic debridement have been described as additional techniques in the burn surgeon's armamentarium. It is widely accepted that early eschar removal within 72h improves the outcome of burn wound treatment by reducing bacterial wound colonization, infection and length of hospital stay. In contrast, the right technique for eschar removal is still a matter of debate. There is increasing evidence that enzymatic debridement is a powerful tool to remove eschar in burn wounds, reducing blood loss, the need for autologous skin grafting and the number of wounds requiring surgical excision. In order to assess the role and clinical advantages of enzymatic debridement by a mixture of proteolytic enzymes enriched in Bromelain (Nexobrid®) beyond the scope of the literature and in view of users' experience, a European Consensus Meeting was scheduled. The aim was to provide statements for application, based on the mutual experience of applying enzymatic debridement in more than 500 adult and pediatric patients by the consensus panelists. Issues to be addressed were: indications, pain management and anesthesia, timing of application, technique of application, after-intervention care, skin grafting after enzymatic debridement, blood loss, training strategies and learning curve and areas of future research needs. Sixty-eight (68) consensus statements were provided for the use of enzymatic debridement. The degree of consensus was remarkably high, with a unanimous consensus in 88.2% of statements, and lowest degree of consensus of 70% in only 3 statements. This consensus document may serve as preliminary guideline for the use of enzymatic debridement with user-oriented recommendations until further evidence and systematic guidelines are available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1640-1653
Number of pages14
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Blood Loss, Surgical/prevention & control
  • Bromelains/therapeutic use
  • Burns/therapy
  • Cicatrix/complications
  • Consensus
  • Debridement/methods
  • Dermis/surgery
  • Humans
  • Pain Management/methods
  • Skin Transplantation/methods


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