Vol.5, No.3, 2008, pp.155-168, doi:10.3970/mcb.2008.005.155
OPEN ACCESS
REVIEW ARTICLE
Blast Related Neurotrauma: A review of Cellular Injury
  • Lai Yee Leung*, Pamela J. VandeVord∗,†, Alessandra Leonardi Dal Cengio*, Cynthia Bir*, King H. Yang*, Albert I. King*
* Departmentof BiomedicalEngineering,WayneState University, Detroit, Michigan, USA
Corresponding author. pvord@wayne.edu. John D. Dingell VA Medical Center, Research and Development Service, Detroit, MI 48201
Abstract
Historically, blast overpressure is known to affect primarily gas-containing organs such as the lung and ear. More recent interests focus on its ability to cause damage to solid organs such as the brain, resulting in neurological disorders. Returning veterans exposed to blast but without external injuries are being diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury (Warden 2006) and with cortical dysfunction (Cernak et al 1999). Decades of studies have been conducted to elucidate the effects of primary blast wave on the central nervous system. These studies were mostly concerned with systemic effects (Saljo et al 2000-2003; Kaur et al 1995-1997, 1999; Cernak et al 1996, 2001). The molecular mechanism of blast-induced neurotrauma is still poorly understood. This paper reviews studies related to primary blast injury to the nervous system, particularly at the cellular level. It starts with a general discussion of primary blast injury and blast wave physics, followed by a review of the literature related to 1) the blast wave/body interaction, 2) injuries to the peripheral nervous system, 3) injuries to the central nervous system, and 4) injury criteria. Finally, some of our preliminary data on cellular injury from in vitro and in vivo studies are presented. Specifically, we report on the effects of overpressure on astrocytes. In the discussion, possible mechanisms of blast-related brain injury are discussed, as well as the concerns and limitations of the published studies. A clearer understanding of the injury mechanisms at both the molecular and macroscopic (organ) level will lead to the development of new treatment, diagnosis and preventive measures.
Cite This Article
Leung, L. Y., VandeVord, P. J., Leonardi, A., Bir, C., Yang, K. H., et al (2008). Blast Related Neurotrauma: A review of Cellular Injury. Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, 5(3), 155–168.