Explosive blast neurotrauma

Geoffrey Ling, Faris Bandak, Rocco Armonda, Gerald Grant, James Ecklund

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

331 Scopus citations


Explosive blast traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the more serious wounds suffered by United States service members injured in the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some military medical treatments for blast TBI that have been introduced successfully in the war theater include decompressive craniectomy, cerebral angiography, transcranial Doppler, hypertonic resuscitation fluids, among others. Stateside neurosurgery, neurocritical care, and rehabilitation for these patients have similarly progressed. With experience, military physicians have been able to clinically describe blast TBI across the entire severity spectrum. One important clinical finding is that a significant number of severe blast TBI victims develop pseudoaneurysms and vasospasm, which can lead to delayed decompensation. Another is that mild blast TBI shares clinical features with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Observations suggest that the mechanism by which explosive blast injures the central nervous system may be m re complex than initially assumed. Rigorous study at the basic science and clinical levels, including detailed biomechanical analysis, is needed to improve understanding of this disease. A comprehensive epidemiological study is also warranted to determine the prevalence of this disease and the factors that contribute most to the risk of developing it. Sadly, this military-specific disease has significant potential to become a civilian one as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-825
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of neurotrauma
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical management of CNS injury
  • Decompressive craniectomy
  • Military injury
  • Penetrating ballisticlike brain injury
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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