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Effect of a neck collar on brain turgor: a potential role in preventing concussions?


Background Mild internal jugular vein (IJV) compression, aimed at increasing intracranial fluid volume to prevent motion of the brain relative to the skull, has reduced brain injury markers in athletes suffering repeated traumatic brain injuries. However, an increase in intracranial volume with IJV compression has not been well demonstrated. This study used transorbital ultrasound to identify changes in optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) as a direct marker of accompanying changes in intracranial volume.

Methods Nineteen young, healthy adult volunteers (13 males and 6 females) underwent IJV compression of 20 cm H2O low in the neck, while in upright posture. IJV cross-sectional area at the level of the cricoid cartilage, and the change in right ONSD 3 mm behind the papillary segment of the optic nerve, were measured by ultrasound. Statistical analysis was performed using a paired t-test with Bonferroni correction.

Results Mean (SD) cross-sectional area for the right IJV before and after IJV compression was 0.10 (0.05) cm2 and 0.57 (0.37) cm2, respectively (p=0.001). ONSD before and after IJV compression was 4.6 (0.5) mm and 4.9 (0.5) mm, respectively (p=0.001).

Conclusions These data verify increased cerebral volume following IJV compression, supporting the potential for reduced brain ‘slosh’ as a mechanism connecting IJV compression to possibly reducing traumatic brain injury following head trauma.

  • brain concussion

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. Data are available on reasonable request. Please contact corresponding author: 0000-0002-9304-0751.

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