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Author Notes:

Susan S. Margulies, Ph.D., Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Tech College of Engineering, Emory University School of Medicine, Georgia Institute of Technology, U.A. Whitaker Building, 313 Ferst Drive, Suite 2116, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0535, tel 404.385.5038 fax 404.894.4243. Email: susan.margulies@gatech.edu

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.


Research Funding:

We are grateful for the support of the American Heart Association (12PRE12040315), the National Institutes of Health (R21HD078842, R01NS039679 and R01NS097549), the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Critical Care Fund, and the Georgia Research Alliance


  • Science & Technology
  • Technology
  • Engineering, Biomedical
  • Materials Science, Biomaterials
  • Engineering
  • Materials Science
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Subdural hemorrhage
  • Bridging veins
  • Finite element modeling
  • Pediatric
  • Abusive head trauma
  • AGE

Predictions of neonatal porcine bridging vein rupture and extra-axial hemorrhage during rapid head rotations


Journal Title:



Volume 106


, Pages 103740-103740

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


When the head is rotated rapidly, the movement of the brain lags that of the skull. Intracranial contents between the brain and skull include meninges, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and cerebral vasculature. Among the cerebral vasculature in this space are the parasagittal bridging veins (BVs), which drain blood from the brain into the superior sagittal sinus (SSS), which is housed within the falx cerebri, adhered to the inner surface of the skull. Differential motion between the brain and skull that may occur during a traumatic event is thought to stretch BVs, causing damage and producing extra-axial hemorrhage (EAH). Finite element (FE) modeling is a technique often used to aid in the understanding and prediction of traumatic brain injury (TBI), and estimation of tissue deformation during traumatic events provides insight into kinematic injury thresholds. Using a FE model of the newborn porcine head with neonatal porcine brain and BV properties, single and cyclic rapid head rotations without impact were simulated. Measured BV failure properties were used to predict BV rupture. By comparing simulation outputs to observations of EAH in a development group of in vivo studies of rapid non-impact head rotations in the piglet, it was determined that failure of 16.7% of BV elements was associated with a 50% risk of EAH, and showed in a separate validation group that this threshold predicted the occurrence of EAH with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity for single rapid non-impact rotations. This threshold for failed BV elements performed with 90% overall correct prediction in simulations of cyclic rotational head injuries. A 50% risk of EAH was associated with head angular velocities of 94.74 rad/s and angular accelerations of 29.60 krad/s2 in the newborn piglet. Future studies may build on these findings for BV failure in the piglet to develop predictive models for BV failure in human infants.

Copyright information:

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/rdf).
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