Retrospective characterization of a rat model of volumetric muscle loss

Connor P. Dolan, Christopher L. Dearth, Benjamin T. Corona, Stephen M. Goldman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Volumetric muscle loss (VML) is a pervasive injury within contemporary combat and a primary driver of disability among injured Service members. As such, VML has been a topic of investigation over the past decade as the field has sought to understand the pathology of these injuries and to develop treatment strategies which restore the form and function of the involved musculature. To date, much of this work has been performed in disparate animal models that vary significantly in terms of the species utilized, the muscle (or muscle group) affected, and the volume of muscle lost. Moreover, variation exists in the reporting of anatomical and functional outcomes within these models. When taken together, the ability to successfully assess comparative efficacy of promising therapies is currently limited. As such, greater scrutiny on the characterization of these VML models is needed to better assess the quality of evidence supporting further translation of putative therapies. Thus, the objective of this study was to retrospectively characterize anatomical and functional outcomes associated with one such VML model – the 6 mm biopsy punch model of the rat tibialis anterior muscle. Through these efforts, it was shown that this model is highly reproducible and consistent across a large number of experiments. As such, the data presented herein represent a reasonable benchmark for the expected performance of this model with utility for drawing inferences across studies and identifying therapies which have shown promise within the preclinical domain, and thus are ready for further translation towards the clinic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number814
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal models
  • Pathophysiology
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Trauma


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