Surgical correction for sagittal and metopic craniosynostosis (SCS and MCS) aims to alter the abnormal cranial shape to resemble that of the normal population. The achieved correction can be assessed by morphometric parameters. The purpose of the presented study was to compare craniometric parameters of control groups to those same parameters after endoscopic and conventional (open) correction.
The authors identified 4 groups of children undergoing surgical treatment for either SCS or MCS, with either endoscopic (SCS, n = 17; MCS, n = 16) or conventional (SCS, n = 29; MCS, n = 18) correction. In addition, normal control groups of nonaffected children who were 6 (n = 30) and 24 (n = 18) months old were evaluated. For all groups, several craniometric indices calculated from 3D photographs were compared for quantitative analysis. For qualitative comparison, averages of all 3D photographs were generated for all groups and superimposed to visualize relative changes.
For children with SCS, the cephalic index and coronal circumference index significantly differed preoperatively from those of the 6-month normal controls. The respective postoperative values were similar to those of the 24-month normal controls after both endoscopic and conventional correction. Similarly, for children with MCS, indices for circumference and diagonal dimension that were significantly different preoperatively became nonsignificantly different from those of 24-month normal controls after both endoscopic and conventional correction. The qualitative evaluation of superimposed average 3D head shapes confirmed changes toward normal controls after both treatment modalities for SCS and MCS. However, in SCS, the volume gain, especially in the biparietal area, was more noticeable after endoscopic correction, while in MCS, relative volume gain of the bilateral forehead was more pronounced after conventional correction. The average 3D head shapes matched more homogeneously with the average of normal controls after endoscopic correction for SCS and after conventional correction for MCS.
This quantitative analysis confirms that the performed surgical techniques of endoscopic and conventional correction of SCS and MCS alter the head shape toward those of normal controls. However, in a qualitative evaluation, the average head shape after endoscopic technique for SCS and conventional correction for MCS appears to be closer to that of normal controls than after the alternative technique. This study reports on morphometric outcomes after craniosynostosis correction. Only an assessment of the whole multiplicity of outcome parameters based on multicenter data acquisition will allow conclusions of superiority of one surgical technique.