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Keywords:

  • Alcohol Binge;
  • Burn Injury;
  • Adipose;
  • Inflammation;
  • Macrophages;
  • Insulin Resistance

Background

Alcohol intoxication resulting from binge-drinking episodes is a leading cause of traumatic injury. Alcohol affects systemic responses critical for restoring homeostasis during the postinjury period. The lingering consequences of alcohol intoxication at time of injury are of relevance to the management of the trauma victim.

Methods

The study by Qin and colleagues (2013) used intraperitoneal alcohol administration to achieve blood alcohol concentrations of approximately 150 mg/dl to investigate its impact on adipose tissue inflammation following burn injury in a rodent model. The report and the pertinent literature were reviewed to provide perspective on the findings.

Results

Their results provide evidence of a marked increase in adipose inflammation during the postburn period. These findings identify a potential mechanism by which alcohol abuse and injury can synergize to promote a dysregulated environment conducive to insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, and potentially metabolic syndrome if the inflammatory changes in adipose tissue observed were to be sustained over prolonged periods.

Conclusions

Adipose tissue inflammation potentially leading to metabolic dysregulation during the period following burn injury may further add to the complexities in the management of these patients. The underlying mechanisms need further investigation. The existence of an alcohol use disorder in burn or trauma victims should lead to increased awareness of possible metabolic complications during the recovery period that could be explained by enhanced adipose tissue inflammation.