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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Computer simulation of microvascular exchange after thermal injury Gu, Xiaozheng


A computer model is developed to study the fluid and protein redistribution after thermal injuries in rats. This model is derived by including the burned skin as a fourth compartment in the microvascular exchange model developed by Bert et al. [6]. The pathological changes that occur after thermal injuries are introduced into the burn model as perturbations. The simulations of short-term and long-term responses were then made in this four compartment (burn) model for two cases: 10% and 40% percent surface area burns. Appropriate ranges of the perturbations were estimated based on the available information in the literature. The perturbations for the 10% burn include: the plasma leak coefficient in the injured skin, the tissue pressure in the injured skin, the fluid exchange coefficients in the injured skin, the arterial capillary pressure in the injured skin and the lymph flow characteristics in the injured skin. The perturbations for the 40% burn include the perturbations for the 10% burn plus the plasma leak coefficients in the intact tissues, the fluid exchange coefficients in the intact tissues and the lymph flow characteristics in the intact tissues. The dynamic responses of the system using these perturbations were plotted. Comparisons between the simulation predictions and the experimental data were characterized in terms of sum-of-squares of differences between simulation results and experimental data. Compared to the limited amount of data available in the literature, the burn model describes microvascular exchange after thermal injuries reasonably well. The work in this thesis could easily be extended to account for fluid resuscitation following a thermal injury in rats and, it is hoped that this approach might eventually be applied to the resuscitation management of burn patients.

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