Involvement of the central nervous system in the general response to pulmonary blast injury

J Trauma. 1996 Mar;40(3 Suppl):S100-4. doi: 10.1097/00005373-199603001-00023.


The local, general, and cerebral responses of rabbits exposed to pulmonary blasts were examined to define the role of vagal afferentation in cardiorespiratory as well as metabolic control after a blast injury. Two series of experiments were conducted on rabbits to analyze the general, local, and cerebral responses to pulmonary injury caused by blast overpressure, and to evaluate the effects of bilateral vagotomy on the general, local, and cerebral responses to local (pulmonary) blast injury. The blast wave was generated in laboratory conditions using an air-driven shock tube that was able to cause moderate pulmonary blast injury, i.e., four pulmonary contusions characterized as confluent ecchymoses involving 30 to 60% of the lungs. One group of animals was subjected to pulmonary deafferentation, performed by bilateral transections of the vagus, glossopharyngeal, and hypoglossal nerves. Numerous hemodynamic as well as biochemical parameters were observed in systemic circulation and in lung and brain (medulla oblongata) tissues. After observation during the early posttraumatic period, rabbits were sacrificed by decapitation 30 minutes after the blast injury. On the basis of obtained results, it was concluded that vagal afferents have an important role in the modification of general and local responses to a pulmonary blast injury. Furthermore, it was suggested that functional changes in medulla oblongata may be the consequences of afferent neural impulses from the injured region (lungs) rather than consequences of ischemia, energy transfer to the brain, or both.

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Blast Injuries / metabolism
  • Blast Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Brain Injuries / metabolism
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Lung / innervation
  • Lung Injury*
  • Male
  • Multiple Trauma / metabolism
  • Multiple Trauma / physiopathology*
  • Pressure
  • Rabbits
  • Vagotomy
  • Vagus Nerve / physiopathology*