Traumatic brain injury (TBI), a devastating cause of death and disability [1, 2], commonly includes injury to the cerebral blood vessels [3]. Contusion has been called the hallmark of head injury [4], and includes damage to both blood vessels and surrounding parenchyma in the cortex. Vessels within the subarachnoid space, those penetrating the cortex, and capillaries within the cortical capillary plexus are all subject to injury and dysfunction. Contusion is primarily caused by traumatic interactions between the inner skull and brain surfaces, particularly in the inferior frontal and temporal lobe regions. However, little is known about the associated mechanisms of vessel damage. Definition of these mechanisms, and their thresholds, will inform prevention efforts. Improved understanding of the nature of vessel loading and injury may also lead to improved treatment.

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