A proposed injury threshold for mild traumatic brain injury

J Biomech Eng. 2004 Apr;126(2):226-36. doi: 10.1115/1.1691446.


Traumatic brain injuries constitute a significant portion of injury resulting from automotive collisions, motorcycle crashes, and sports collisions. Brain injuries not only represent a serious trauma for those involved but also place an enormous burden on society, often exacting a heavy economical, social, and emotional price. Development of intervention strategies to prevent or minimize these injuries requires a complete understanding of injury mechanisms, response and tolerance level. In this study, an attempt is made to delineate actual injury causation and establish a meaningful injury criterion through the use of the actual field accident data. Twenty-four head-to-head field collisions that occurred in professional football games were duplicated using a validated finite element human head model. The injury predictors and injury levels were analyzed based on resulting brain tissue responses and were correlated with the site and occurrence of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Predictions indicated that the shear stress around the brainstem region could be an injury predictor for concussion. Statistical analyses were performed to establish the new brain injury tolerance level.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / complications
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Brain Injuries / etiology
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Differential Threshold
  • Football
  • Head Injuries, Closed / diagnosis*
  • Head Injuries, Closed / etiology
  • Head Injuries, Closed / physiopathology*
  • Head Movements
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Pressure
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*
  • Physical Stimulation / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Trauma Severity Indices