Investigation of photoplethysmographic changes using a static compression model of spinal cord injury

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2009:2009:1493-6. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2009.5334166.


Little is known about cell death in spinal cord tissue following compression injury, despite compression being a key component of spinal injuries. Currently models are used to mimic compression injury in animals and the effects of the compression evaluated by observing the extent and duration of recovery of normal motor function in the days and weeks following the injury. A fiber-optic photoplethysmography system was used to investigate whether pulsation of the small arteries in the spinal cord occurred before, during and after compressive loads were applied to the tissue. It was found that the signal amplitudes were reduced and this reduction persisted for at least five minutes after the compression ceased. It is hoped that results from this preliminary study may improve knowledge of the mechanism of spinal cord injury.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Female
  • Plethysmography / methods*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology*