Table of Contents
Advances in Neuroscience
Volume 2014, Article ID 945869, 13 pages
Research Article

Neck Flexion Induces Larger Deformation of the Brain Than Extension at a Rotational Acceleration, Closed Head Trauma

1Institute of Biomedicine, Sahlgren Academy, University of Gothenburg, P.O. Box 440, 40530 Gothenburg, Sweden
2Department of Applied Mechanics, Chalmers University of Technology, 41296 Gothenburg, Sweden
3GU Holding, University of Gothenburg, 40530 Gothenburg, Sweden

Received 16 June 2014; Revised 16 September 2014; Accepted 7 October 2014; Published 3 November 2014

Academic Editor: John B. Redell

Copyright © 2014 Hans-Arne Hansson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A closed head trauma induces incompletely characterized temporary movement and deformation of the brain, contributing to the primary traumatic brain injury. We used the pressure patterns recorded with light-operated miniature sensors in anaesthetized adult rabbits exposed to a sagittal plane rotational acceleration of the head, lasting 1 ms, as a measure of brain deformation. Two exposure levels were used and scaled to correspond to force levels reported to cause mild and moderate diffuse injury in an adult man, respectively. Flexion induced transient, strong, extended, and predominantly negative pressures while extension generated a short positive pressure peak followed by a minor negative peak. Low level flexion caused as strong, extended negative pressures as did high level extension. Time differences were demonstrated between the deformation of the cerebrum, brainstem, and cerebellum. Available X-ray and MRI techniques do not have as high time resolution as pressure recordings in demonstrating complex, sequential compression and stretching of the brain during a trauma. The exposure to flexion caused more protracted and extensive deformation of the brain than extension, in agreement with a published histopathological report. The severity and extent of the brain deformation generated at a head trauma thus related to the direction at equal force.