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Assessment of Anterior Spinal Artery Blood Flow following Spinal Cord Injury

M. Alshareef1 A. Alshareef2 V. Krishna3 M. Kindy3 T. Shazly4
1College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA
2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
3Department of Neurosurgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA
4Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA

Posteriorly applied loading on the cervical spinal cord and its blood supply.

The incidence of spinal cord injury (SCI) in the US is approximately 12,000 individuals annually, due to various forms of trauma and disease. Diminished flow over a prolonged period of time can cause permanent spinal damage. We constructed a 3D finite element model of the spinal cord to examine the role of compressive loading on spinal blood flow. It was found that the type of forces on the spinal cord model affected blood flow distinctly. Maximal reduction in perfusion was shown in the posterior loading while maximal reduction in flow of the main vasculature was shown in the anterior loading. This study shows that spinal damage at subclinical thresholds creates a decrease in blood flow that could progress to ischemia.

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