Outcomes research on unilateral coronal synostosis is mostly limited to the early postoperative period. This study examines facial asymmetry, desire for revision, and patient-reported outcomes at school age in children who received either endoscopic strip craniectomy with helmet therapy or fronto-orbital advancement (open repair).
Patients with repaired unilateral coronal synostosis born between 2000 and 2017, with 3D photographs taken when they were between 3.5 and 8 years of age, were eligible for study inclusion. Three pairs of bilateral linear measurements and two angular measurements were taken. Parent- and physician-reported desire for revision and patient-reported outcomes (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System cognitive function and Quality of Life in Neurological Disorders stigma scores) were collected from patient charts.
Thirty-five patients qualified, including 25 with open repair and 10 with endoscopic repair. The median patient ages at repair were 3 months and 8 months in the endoscopic and open groups, respectively. The average ages at final 3D photography were 5.8 years and 5.5 years in the endoscopic and open groups, respectively. Digital anthropometry revealed no significant differences in measures of facial asymmetry between the repair groups (p ≥ 0.211). Midface depth (tragion to subnasale) was significantly less symmetric at school age than other linear measures (F(2,102) = 9.14, p < 0.001). Forehead asymmetry was significantly associated with parent- and physician-reported desire for revision (p ≤ 0.006). No significant associations were found between physical asymmetry and patient-reported stigma or cognitive function (p > 0.046, Holm-Bonferroni correction).
Children who underwent open or endoscopic repair for unilateral coronal synostosis have comparable facial symmetry at school age, but midface depth remains highly asymmetrical in both groups. Forehead asymmetry at school age correlates with parent- and physician-reported desire for revision.