Browse Publications Technical Papers 2008-22-0010
2008-11-03

Mechanisms of Traumatic Rupture of the Aorta and Associated Peri-isthmic Motion and Deformation 2008-22-0010

This study investigated the mechanisms of traumatic rupture of the aorta (TRA). Eight unembalmed human cadavers were tested using various dynamic blunt loading modes. Impacts were conducted using a 32-kg impactor with a 152-mm face, and high-speed seatbelt pretensioners. High-speed biplane x-ray was used to visualize aortic motion within the mediastinum, and to measure deformation of the aorta. An axillary thoracotomy approach was used to access the peri-isthmic region to place radiopaque markers on the aorta. The cadavers were inverted for testing. Clinically relevant TRA was observed in seven of the tests. Peak average longitudinal Lagrange strain was 0.644, with the average peak for all tests being 0.208 ± 0.216. Peak intraluminal pressure of 165 kPa was recorded. Longitudinal stretch of the aorta was found to be a principal component of injury causation. Stretch of the aorta was generated by thoracic deformation, which is required for injury to occur. The presence of atherosclerosis was demonstrated to promote injury. The isthmus of the aorta moved dorsocranially during frontal impact and submarining loading modes. The aortic isthmus moved medially and anteriorly during impact to the left side. The results of this study provide a better understanding of the mechanisms associated with TRA, and can be used for the validation of finite element models developed for the examination and prediction of TRA.

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