High-speed video analysis improves the accuracy of spinal cord compression measurement in a mouse contusion model

  • Laurin Jérôme
  • Fournely Marion
  • Petit Yvan
  • Wagnac Eric
  • Callot Virginie
  • Arnoux Pierre-Jean

  • Crmbm
  • Compression ratio
  • Snc
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Mouse model
  • Contusion device
  • High-speed video analysis

ART

Background: Animal models of spinal cord injuries aim to utilize controlled and reproducible conditions. However, a literature review reveals that mouse contusion studies using equivalent protocols may show large disparities in the observed impact force vs. cord compression relationship. The overall purpose of this study was to investigate possible sources of bias in these measurements. The specific objective was to improve spinal cord compression measurements using a video-based setup to detect the impactor-spinal cord time-to-contact. New Method: A force-controlled 30 kDyn unilateral contusion at C4 vertebral level was performed in six mice with the Infinite Horizon impactor (IH). High-speed video was used to determine the time-to-contact between the impactor tip and the spinal cord and to compute the related displacement of the tip into the tissue: the spinal cord compression and the compression ratio. Results & Comparison with Existing Method(s): Delayed time-to-contact detection with the IH device led to an underestimation of the cord compression. Compression values indicated by the IH were 64% lower than those based on video analysis (0.33mm vs. 0.88mm). Consequently, the mean compression ratio derived from the device was underestimated when compared to the value derived from video analysis (22% vs. 61%). Conclusions: Default time-to-contact detection from the IH led to significant errors in spinal cord compression assessment. Accordingly, this may explain some of the reported data discrepancies in the literature. The proposed setup could be implemented by users of contusion devices to improve the quantative description of the primary injury inflicted to the spinal cord.