A rat model of concurrent combined injuries (polytrauma)

Robert M. Akscyn, J. Lee Franklin, Tatyana A. Gavrikova, Martin G Schwacha, Joseph L. Messina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Polytrauma, a combination of injuries to more than one body part or organ system, is common in modern warfare and in automobile and industrial accidents. The combination of injuries can include burn injury, fracture, hemorrhage, trauma to the extremities, and trauma to specific organ systems. To investigate the effects of combined injuries, we have developed a new and highly reproducible model of polytrauma. This model combines burn injury with soft tissue and gastrointestinal (GI) tract trauma. Male Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to a 15-20% total body surface area scald burn, or a single puncture of the cecum with a G30 needle, or the combination of both injuries (polytrauma). Unlike many ‘double hit’ models, the injuries in our model were performed simultaneously. We asked whether multiple minor injuries, when combined, would result in a distinct phenotype, different from single minor injuries or a more severe single injury. There were differences between the single injuries and polytrauma in the maintenance of blood glucose, body temperature, body weight, hepatic mRNA and circulating levels of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6, and hepatic ER-stress. It has been suggested that models utilizing combinatorial injuries may be needed to more accurately model the human condition. We believe our model is ideal for studying the complex sequelae of polytrauma, which differs from single injuries. Insights gained from this model may suggest better treatment options to improve patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20097-20110
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 30 2015


  • Burn
  • Cecal ligation and puncture
  • ER-stress
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hypothermia
  • Proinflammatory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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