Topography of axonal injury as defined by amyloid precursor protein and the sector scoring method in mild and severe closed head injury

Author(s): Blumbergs PC, Scott G, Manavis J, Wainwright H, Simpson DA, et al.


Axonal injury (AI), as defined by amyloid precursor protein (APP) positive axonal swellings, was recorded on a series of line diagrams of standard brain sections divided into 116 sectors to provide an Axonal Injury Sector Score (AISS) ranging from 0 to 116. This sector scoring method of recording axonal damage and providing a topographic overview of AI was applied to a series of 6 mild head injury cases [Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) 13-15] and six severe head injury cases (GCS 3-8). The AISS ranged from 4 to 107 overall and varied from 4 to 88 in the mildly injured group and 76 to 107 in the severe head injury group, supporting the concept that there is a spectrum of AI in traumatic head injury and that the AISS is a measure of the extent of AI. APP immunostaining demonstrated positive axonal swellings 1.75 h after head injury and analysis of the pattern of AI in the mild and severe head injury groups showed that axons were more vulnerable than blood vessels and that the axons in the corpus callosum and fornices were the most vulnerable of all.

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