Journal article Open Access

Hypothesis How Pressure May Affect the Healing Time of Hematomas

George C. Hartmann*

Abstract

This paper explores a hypothesis that considers the question how pressure may shorten the healing time of a hematoma or contusion. The purpose is to present a mathematical model for predictions based on the hypothesis that can be quantitatively compared to measurements. The time trajectory of the fluid volume in the hematoma is modeled by two rate equations, with rate parameters linked to healing and fluid transfer mechanisms. The flux of fluid leaving the hematoma pocket is assumed to be pressure dependent, consistent with Starling’s principle, which asserts that the flux through a tissue layer is equal to the pressure gradient across the layer multiplied by the tissue hydraulic conductivity. Two contributions to the pressure are skin elasticity and applied compression. Shape measurements on two hematomas were made over the 10-week healing time. Model parameters are in fair agreement with values reported previously for wound contraction speed, tissue hydraulic conductivity, and skin elasticity.

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