Rapid head rotation is a major cause of brain damage in automobile crashes and falls. This report details a new model for rotational acceleration about the center of mass of the rabbit head. This allows the study of brain injury without translational acceleration of the head. Impact from a pneumatic cylinder was transferred to the skull surface to cause a half-sine peak acceleration of 2.1 × 105 rad/s² and 0.96-ms pulse duration. Extensive subarachnoid hemorrhages and small focal bleedings were observed in the brain tissue. A pronounced reactive astrogliosis was found 8-14 days after trauma, both as networks around the focal hemorrhages and more diffusely in several brain regions. Astrocytosis was prominent in the gray matter of the cerebral cortex, layers II-V, and in the granule cell layer and around the axons of the pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus. The nuclei of cranial nerves, such as the hypoglossal and facial nerves, also showed intense astrocytosis. The new model allows study of brain injuries from head rotation in the absence of translational influences.
Keywords: astrocytosis; biomechanics; head impact; rotational acceleration; subarachnoid hemorrhage; traumatic brain injury