Muscle pathologies after cervical spine distortion-like exposure-a porcine model
Journal article, 2013

Objective: Histological evaluation of porcine posterior cervical muscles after a forceful translational and extensional head retraction simulating high-speed rear end impact. Methods: Four anesthetized pigs were exposed to a cervical spine distortion (CSD)-like motion in a lying position. After 2 different survival times of 4 and 6 h (posttrauma), the pigs were euthanized and tissue sampling of posterior cervical muscles was performed. A standard histological staining method involving paraffin-embedded sections was used to analyze the muscles, focusing on injury signs like hemorrhage and inflammatory cell reaction. A pig that was not subjected to impact was used as a control pig and was subjected to the same procedure to exclude any potential artifacts from the autopsy. Results: The differentiation of 8 different posterior neckmuscles in the dissection process was successful in more than 50 percent for each muscle of interest. Staining and valid analysis was possible from all extracted samples. Muscle injuries to the deepest posterior neck muscles could be found, especially in the musculus obliquus samples, which showed laminar bleedings in 4 out of 4 samples. In addition, in 4 out of 4 samples we were able to see increased cellular reactions. The splenius muscle also showed bleeding in all 4 samples. All animals showed muscle injury signs in more than three quarters of analyzed neck muscles. Differences between survival times of 4 and 6 h in terms of muscular injury were not of primary interest and could not be found. Conclusions: By simulating a CSD-like motion we were able to confirm injuries in the posterior cervical muscles under severe loading conditions.

neck muscles

cervical spine distortion


rear-end impact



Nathalie Gales

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Sebastian Kunz

Paris Lodron University of Salzburg

David Rocksén

Karolinska Institutet

Ulf Arborelius

Karolinska Institutet

Mats Svensson

SAFER, The Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre

Chalmers, Applied Mechanics, Vehicle Safety

Wolfram Hell

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Sylvia Schick

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Traffic Injury Prevention

1538-9588 (ISSN) 1538-957X (eISSN)

Vol. 14 8 828-834

Areas of Advance


Life Science Engineering (2010-2018)

Subject Categories

Vehicle Engineering




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