Blunt injury of liver - mechanical response of porcine liver in experimental impact test

Anna Malečková, Petra Kochova, Richard Pálek, Václav Liška, Patrik Mik, Tomasz Bońkowski, Miroslav Horák, Zbyněk Tonar
Physiological Measurement 2021 January 22
Liver is frequently injured in blunt abdominal trauma caused by road traffic accidents. The testing of safety performance of vehicles, e.g. belt usage, head support, seat shape, or air bag shape, material, pressure, and reaction, could lead to reduction of the injury seriousness. Current trends in safety testing include development of accurate computational human body models (HBM's) based on the anatomical, morphological, and mechanical behavior of tissues under high strain. The aim of this study was to describe the internal pressure changes within porcine liver, the severity of liver injury and the relation between the porcine liver microstructure and rupture propagation in an experimental impact test. Porcine liver specimens (n = 24) were uniformly compressed using a drop tower technique and four impact heights (200, 300, 400 and 500 mm; corresponding velocities: 1.72, 2.17, 2.54, and 2.88 m/s). The changes in intravascular pressure were measured via catheters placed in portal vein and caudate vena cava. The induced injuries were analyzed on macroscopic level according to AAST grade and AIS severity. Rupture propagation with respect to liver microstructure was analyzed using stereological methods. Macroscopic ruptures affected mostly the interface between connective tissue surrounding big vessels and liver parenchyma. Histological analysis revealed that the ruptures avoided reticular fibers and interlobular septa made of connective tissue on the microscopic level. The present findings can be used for evaluation of HBM's of liver behavior in impact situations.

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