Early-stage microvascular alterations of a new model of controlled cortical traumatic brain injury: 3D morphological analysis using scanning electron microscopy and corrosion casting

Simone Sangiorgi, Alessandro De Benedictis, Marina Protasoni, Alessandro Manelli, Marcella Reguzzoni, Andrea Cividini, Carlo Dell'Orbo, Giustino Tomei, Sergio Balbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Object. This study was performed to study the microvascular changes that occur during the first 12 hours after traumatic brain injury (TBI) using the corrosion casting technique. Methods. The authors performed a qualitative and quantitative morphological study of the changes in cerebral vessels at acute (3 hours) and subacute (12 hours) stages after experimental TBI. They used a model of controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury induced by a recently developed electromagnetic device (impactor), focusing their observations mainly on the microvascular alterations responsible for the formation and maintenance of tissue edema and consequent brain swelling during the first hours after TBI. They used corrosion casting, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), light microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to obtain a morphological qualitative map with both 2D and 3D details. Results. Scanning electron microscopy analysis of vascular casts documented in 3 dimensions the typical injuries occurring after a TBI: subdural, subarachnoid, and intraparenchymal hemorrhages, along with alterations of the morphological characteristics and architecture of both medium-sized and capillary vessels, including ectasia of pial vessels, sphincter constrictions at the origin of the perforating vessels, focal swelling of perforating vessels, widening of intercellular junctions, and some indirect evidence of structural impairment of endothelial cells. All of these vascular alterations were confirmed in 2D analyses using light microscopy and TEM. Conclusions. The corrosion casting-SEM technique applied to a CCI experimental model proved to be a reliable method for studying the pathophysiology of the vascular alterations occurring at acute and subacute stages after CCI injury. It was also possible to obtain topographical localization of the vascular and cellular events that usually lead to hyperemia, edema, and brain swelling. Moreover, by applying informatic software to anatomical images it was possible to perform quantification and statistical analysis of the observed events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-774
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery
Volume118
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

Keywords

  • Cerebral edema
  • Controlled cortical impact injury
  • Corrosion casting
  • Scanning electron microscope
  • Transmission electron microscope
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery

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