Low-Level Primary Blast Causes Acute Ocular Trauma in Rabbits

Kirstin Jones, Jae Hyek Choi, William E. Sponsel, Walt Gray, Sylvia L. Groth, Randolph D. Glickman, Brian J. Lund, Matthew A. Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine whether clinically significant ocular trauma can be induced by a survivable isolated primary blast using a live animal model. Both eyes of 18 Dutch Belted rabbits were exposed to various survivable low-level blast overpressures in a large-scale shock tube simulating a primary blast similar to an improvised explosive device. Eyes of the blast-exposed rabbits (as well as five control rabbits) were thoroughly examined before and after blast to detect changes. Clinically significant changes in corneal thickness arose immediately after blast and were sustained through 48 h, suggesting possible disruption of endothelial function. Retinal thickness (RT) increased with increasing specific impulse immediately after exposure. Intraocular pressure (IOP) was inversely correlated with the specific impulse of the blast wave. These findings clearly indicate that survivable primary blast causes ocular injuries with likely visual functional sequelae of clinical and military relevance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1194-1201
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • animal model
  • head trauma
  • models of injury
  • ocular blast trauma
  • primary blast trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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