Skull growth after coronal suturectomy, periostectomy, and dural transection

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✓ Using radiocephalometric procedures, the authors examined the separate effects of suturectomy, periostectomy, and dural transection on the growing skull in young rabbits. When the coronal suture was surgically removed during normal growth, the freed frontal and parietal bones separated at a significantly accelerated rate. No accelerated separation was found when only the overlying periosteum and aponeurosis were transected. Furthermore, no additional separation was observed when the dura mater and falx cerebri were transected following suturectomy. Analysis of growth at the adjacent frontonasal and anterior lambdoid sutures suggested that the accelerated separation of bones after suturectomy was compensated for by reduced growth at these adjacent sutures. The result of these compensatory actions was that the total length of the skull remained unchanged. This study not only supports earlier observations that sutures grow in response to extrinsic separative forces but, significantly, that the suture tissue itself, rather than the dura or pericranium, acts as a restraint during normal translatory growth.

Article Information

Dr. Winn is a recipient of Teacher-Investigator Award K07-NS-004404 from the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke.

Address reprint requests to: William J. Babler, Ph.D., Department of Anatomy, Box 439, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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Figures

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    Schematic illustration of a rabbit skull viewed from above. Note the position of amalgam marker implants adjacent to the frontonasal, coronal, and anterior lambdoid sutures. Also note the parietotemporal suture, rhinion (rh), and inion (i).

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    Separation of metallic implants across the coronal suture for experimental and control groups. Following surgical procedures at 30 days of age, both the suturectomy and suturectomy plus dural transection groups show significantly increased separation of markers at 60, 90, and 120 days of age. Transection of the periosteum alone produced no significant deviation from control values. Data are expressed as means ± standard error.

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    Separation of metallic implants across the frontonasal suture for experimental and control groups. Following surgical procedures at the coronal suture at 30 days of age, both the suturectomy and suturectomy plus dural transection groups show significantly decreased separation of markers at 60, 90, and 120 days of age. Transection of the periosteum alone produced no significant deviation from control values. Data are expressed as means ± standard error.

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