PURPOSE: To revise and systematize scientific knowledge of the experimental model for cutaneous burns in rats. METHODS: A bibliographical review from 2008 up to January 2011 in PubMed, EMBASE and LILACS was undertaken. Were used the keywords: animal models, burns and rats. 221 studies were identified, and 116 were selected. RESULTS: It was found that: 54/86 (62.7%) had third degree burns; 55/73 (75.3%) studied the back; 45/78 (57.6%) used heated water and 27/78 (35.9%) incandescent instruments; 39/78 (50%) studied systemic effects; 22/71 (31%) used ketamine associated with xylazine; 61/64 (95.3%) performed depilation with appropriate equipment; 36/72 (50%) used microscopy; more than 50% did not describe analgesia or antibiotics during the postoperative period; in 42/116 (36.2%) postoperative fluid therapy was performed; and the time interval after the burn, up to the beginning of the results analysis varied from 7s up to four weeks. Legislation issues on burn experiments are discussed. CONCLUSION: The hot water was the main method to induce burns those of third degree on the back, with anesthesia using ketamine and xylazine, after depilation. These were evaluated microscopically, without using analgesia or an antibiotic during the postoperative period. The studies were not very reproducible.
Models, Animal; Burns; Skin; Review; Rats