Compensatory growth following premature closure of the coronal suture in rabbits

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  • 1 Departments of Anatomy, Neurosurgery, and Plastic Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
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✓ Premature closure of a cranial suture results in skull deformation characterized by inhibited skull growth in a direction perpendicular to the course of the affected suture. Early surgical release of the closed suture results in a “normal” skull morphology. The present experimental study measured alterations in growth at the transverse cranial sutures that occurred following induced premature closure of the coronal suture and its subsequent release in New Zealand White rabbits. Using roentgenocephalometric methods, growth and morphometric changes were monitored at the frontonasal, coronal, and anterior lambdoid sutures following premature closure of the coronal suture at 9 days of age. The results indicated that premature closure of the coronal suture did not result in compensatory (increased) growth at the other transverse sutures of the vault. In fact, growth at these sutures was significantly reduced. This reduced growth at adjacent transverse sutures was not ameliorated by early surgical release of the fused suture.

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