Can vasculature changes be characterised morphologically after closed soft tissue trauma?

Barani Lonbani, Zohreh, Parker, Tony, Schuetz, Michael A., & Steck, Roland (2012) Can vasculature changes be characterised morphologically after closed soft tissue trauma? In Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) Inspires Conference, 22-23 November 2012, Radisson Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.



Closed soft tissue trauma (CSTT) can be the result of a blunt impact, or a prolonged crush injury and involves damage to the skin, muscles and the neurovascular system. It causes a variety of symptoms such as haematoma and in severe cases may result in hypoxia and necrosis. There is evidence that early vasculature changes following the injury delays the tissue healing [1]. However, a precise qualitative and quantitative morphological assessment of vasculature changes after trauma and the effect of this on CSTT healing is currently missing.

Research aims: Developing an experimental rat model to characterise the structural changes to the vasculature after trauma qualitatively and quantitatively using micro CT.


An impact device was developed to apply a controlled reproducible CSTT to the left thigh (Biceps Femoris) of anaesthetised rats [3]. After euthanizing the animals at 6 hours after trauma, CSTT was qualitatively evaluated by macroscopic observations of the skin and muscles. For vasculature visualisation, the blood vessels of sacrificed rats were flushed with heparinised saline and then perfused with a radio-opaque contrast agent (Microfil) using an infusion pump (Figure 4). The overall changes to the vasculature as a result of impact trauma were characterised qualitatively based on the 3D reconstructed images of the vasculature (Figure 5). For a smaller region of interest, the morphological parameters such as vessel thickness (diameter), spacing, and average number per volume were quantified using the scanner’s software.


Visual observation of CSTT has revealed a haematoma in some animals (Figure 3). Micro CT images indicate good perfusion of the vasculature with contrast agent, allowing the major vessels to be identified (Figure 5). Qualitatively and quantitatively, no differences between injured and non-injured legs were observed at 6 h after trauma. Further time points of 12h, 24h, 3 days and 14 days after trauma will be characterised for identifying temporal changes of the vasculature during healing. Histomorphometical studies are required for validation of the results derived from the micro CT imaging.


Findings of this research may contribute towards the establishment of a fundamental basis for the quantitative assessment and monitoring of CSTT based on microvasculature changes after trauma, which will ultimately allow for optimising the clinical treatment and improve patient outcomes.

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ID Code: 64209
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: vasculature changes, morphology, closed soft tissue trauma, Charachterise
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 The authors and QUT
Copyright Statement: All rights reserved for the authors and Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
Deposited On: 11 Nov 2013 02:25
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2013 02:25

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