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Creation of a contusion injury in rabbit skeletal muscle using a drop-mass technique

Margaret N. Deane, Michael Gregory, Maurice Mars, Linda Bester
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 84, No 1 | a957 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v84i1.957 | © 2013 Margaret N. Deane, Michael Gregory, Maurice Mars, Linda Bester | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 November 2012 | Published: 13 August 2013

About the author(s)

Margaret N. Deane, Department of Physiotherapy, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Michael Gregory, Department of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Maurice Mars, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Linda Bester, Senior Technician, Biomedical Resource Unit, South Africa


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Abstract

This study reports our experience in developing a simple, minor injury. After reviewing the literature, a ‘drop-mass’ method was selected where a 201 g, elongated oval-shaped weight was dropped up to 15 times through a 1 m tube onto the left vastus lateralis of New Zealand white rabbits. To determine the extent of injury and degree of healing, biopsies were obtained six days after injury from the healing vastus lateralis of each animal. The tissue was fixed in formal saline, embedded in wax, cut and stained with haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and phosphotungstic acid haematoxylin (PTAH) and examined by light microscopy (LM). The ‘optimal’ injury was created after seven drops, where quite severe, mild and moderately severe trauma was caused to muscle in the juxta-bone, mid and sub-dermal regions respectively. In each region, the muscle exhibited features of healing six days after injury. The ‘drop-mass’ technique appears to cause a contusion within a single muscle of at least three degrees of severity. This previously unreported observation is of particular importance to other researchers wishing to investigate contusion injury in other animal models.

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