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Nonsyndromic craniosynostosis in Vietnam: initial surgical outcomes of subspecialty mentorship

Dang Do Thanh Can, Jacob R. Lepard, Nguyen Minh Anh, Pham Anh Tuan, Tran Diep Tuan, Vo Tan Son, John H. Grant, and James M. Johnston


There is a global deficit of pediatric neurosurgical care, and the epidemiology and overall surgical care for craniosynostosis is not well characterized at the global level. This study serves to highlight the details and early surgical results of a neurosurgical educational partnership and subsequent local scale-up in craniosynostosis correction.


A prospective case series was performed with inclusion of all patients undergoing correction of craniosynostosis by extensive cranial vault remodeling at Children’s Hospital 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2019.


A total of 76 patients were included in the study. The group was predominantly male, with a male-to-female ratio of 3.3:1. Sagittal synostosis was the most common diagnosis (50%, 38/76), followed by unilateral coronal (11.8%, 9/76), bicoronal (11.8%, 9/76), and metopic (7.9%, 6/76). The most common corrective technique was anterior cranial vault remodeling (30/76, 39.4%) followed by frontoorbital advancement (34.2%, 26/76). The overall mean operative time was 205.8 ± 38.6 minutes, and the estimated blood loss was 176 ± 89.4 mL. Eleven procedures were complicated by intraoperative durotomy (14.5%, 11/76) without any damage of dural venous sinuses or brain tissue. Postoperatively, 4 procedures were complicated by wound infection (5.3%, 4/76), all of which required operative wound debridement. There were no neurological complications or postoperative deaths. One patient required repeat reconstruction due to delayed intracranial hypertension. There was no loss to follow-up. All patients were followed at outpatient clinic, and the mean follow-up period was 32.3 ± 18.8 months postoperatively.


Surgical care for pediatric craniosynostosis can be taught and sustained in the setting of collegial educational partnerships with early capability for high surgical volume and safe outcomes. In the setting of the significant deficit in worldwide pediatric neurosurgical care, this study provides an example of the feasibility of such relationships in addressing this unmet need.