Combined metopic and sagittal craniosynostosis: is it worse than sagittal synostosis alone?

Full access

Object

Combined metopic and sagittal craniosynostosis is a common variant of the nonsyndromic, multiplesuture synostoses. It is unknown whether this combined form causes reduced intracranial volume (ICV) and potentially more brain dysfunction than sagittal synostosis alone. This study is a volumetric comparison of these 2 forms of craniosynostosis.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective chart and CT review of 36 cases of isolated sagittal synostosis or combined metopic and sagittal synostosis, involving patients seen between 1998 and 2006. Values were obtained for the intracranial compartment, brain tissue, CSF space, and ventricular volumes. Patients with craniosynostosis were then compared on these measures to 39 age- and sex-matched controls.

Results

In patients with isolated sagittal synostosis and in those with combined metopic and sagittal synostosis, there was a trend toward smaller ICV than in controls (p < 0.1). In female patients older than 4.5 months of age, there was also a trend toward smaller ICV in patients with the combined form than in those with sagittal synostosis alone (p < 0.1), and the ICV of patients with the combined form was significantly smaller than the volume in controls in the same age group (p < 0.05). Brain tissue volume was significantly smaller in both patient groups than in controls (p < 0.05). Ventricular volume was significantly increased (compared with controls) only in the patients with isolated sagittal synostosis who were younger than 4.5 months of age (p < 0.05). Overall CSF space, however, was significantly larger in both patient groups in patients younger than 4.5 months of age (p < 0.05).

Conclusions

These findings raise concerns about intracranial and brain volume reduction in patients with sagittal and combined metopic and sagittal synostoses and the possibility that this volume reduction may be associated with brain dysfunction. Because the ICV reduction is greater in combined metopic and sagittal synostosis in patients older than 4.5 months of age than in sagittal synostosis in this age group, the potential for brain dysfunction may be particularly true for these younger infants.

Abbreviations used in this paper: BTV = brain tissue volume; HSD = Honestly Significant Difference; ICV = intracranial volume; VV = ventricle volume.

Object

Combined metopic and sagittal craniosynostosis is a common variant of the nonsyndromic, multiplesuture synostoses. It is unknown whether this combined form causes reduced intracranial volume (ICV) and potentially more brain dysfunction than sagittal synostosis alone. This study is a volumetric comparison of these 2 forms of craniosynostosis.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective chart and CT review of 36 cases of isolated sagittal synostosis or combined metopic and sagittal synostosis, involving patients seen between 1998 and 2006. Values were obtained for the intracranial compartment, brain tissue, CSF space, and ventricular volumes. Patients with craniosynostosis were then compared on these measures to 39 age- and sex-matched controls.

Results

In patients with isolated sagittal synostosis and in those with combined metopic and sagittal synostosis, there was a trend toward smaller ICV than in controls (p < 0.1). In female patients older than 4.5 months of age, there was also a trend toward smaller ICV in patients with the combined form than in those with sagittal synostosis alone (p < 0.1), and the ICV of patients with the combined form was significantly smaller than the volume in controls in the same age group (p < 0.05). Brain tissue volume was significantly smaller in both patient groups than in controls (p < 0.05). Ventricular volume was significantly increased (compared with controls) only in the patients with isolated sagittal synostosis who were younger than 4.5 months of age (p < 0.05). Overall CSF space, however, was significantly larger in both patient groups in patients younger than 4.5 months of age (p < 0.05).

Conclusions

These findings raise concerns about intracranial and brain volume reduction in patients with sagittal and combined metopic and sagittal synostoses and the possibility that this volume reduction may be associated with brain dysfunction. Because the ICV reduction is greater in combined metopic and sagittal synostosis in patients older than 4.5 months of age than in sagittal synostosis in this age group, the potential for brain dysfunction may be particularly true for these younger infants.

Abbreviations used in this paper: BTV = brain tissue volume; HSD = Honestly Significant Difference; ICV = intracranial volume; VV = ventricle volume.

Sagittal craniosynostosis is the most common of the single-suture synostoses, with an incidence between 1 in 2000 and 1 in 5000 live births. Reported rates of metopic synostosis vary between 1 in 10,000 and 1 in 100,000 live births, and the incidence of this synostosis is on the rise. While premature fusion of the sagittal suture results in scaphocephaly, characterized by biparietal narrowing, frontal bossing, and occipital prominences, isolated metopic synostosis results in the well-recognized frontal bone deformity, trigonocephaly. The combination of these 2 forms of craniosynostosis yields a skull shape that is long and narrow (scaphocephaly), but the deformity may appear less severe due to the metopic synostosis–induced inability to develop compensatory frontal bossing. In truth however, this combined form may be less benign than sagittal synostosis alone due to greater restriction on the growing brain (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

A–C: Frontal (A), lateral (B), and birds-eye (C) views of a patient with isolated sagittal craniosynostosis showing prominent frontal bossing and scaphocephaly with superimposed deformational plagiocephaly. D and E: Frontal (D) and lateral (E) views of a patient with combined sagittal and metopic craniosynostosis showing a deceivingly less severe–appearing deformity.

In the normal pediatric skull, ICV, BTV, and CSF volume continually increase through early childhood. Yet, this increase is most rapid during the first 2.5 years of life, allowing the brain to reach more than 80% of its adult size in this period. Untreated craniosynostosis may lead to an inhibition of brain growth and in some cases an increase in intracranial pressure. It has been previously demonstrated that infants with sagittal craniosynostosis have higher intracranial pressure and an increased incidence of learning disabilities.10,13

Of note, the surgical technique for correcting these conditions can vary significantly. In scaphocephaly, a multitude of techniques have been employed. Strip craniectomies are often performed either as open surgical procedures or endoscopically.8 However, concerns over lack of complete and early correction of the restrictive nature of the deformity have led to more extensive procedures being used. These include the modified pi-plasty and more comprehensive cranioplasty.3,6 In trigonocephaly, strip craniectomy or bifrontal craniotomy with orbital rim advancement have been used to correct for the lack of lateral frontal orbital projection.

Previous studies by Posnick et al.,12 Hill et al.,7 and Lee et al.9 demonstrated normal or increased preoperative mean ICV (relative to controls) in patients with sagittal synostosis who were older than 6 months of age. The degree of difference appears to be age dependent.7,9,12 The older the patient, the greater the increase in ICV compared with normal values.

Currently, no data exist regarding ICV in patients with combined metopic and sagittal synostosis. It is also unknown whether timing of surgery, specifically early surgical intervention, or alternatively, a different surgical technique may prove beneficial in these patients. Intracranial volume measurements may aid in this determination and can be calculated noninvasively using CT scans. Such techniques have already been employed to measure ICV in patients with isolated sagittal synostosis. Using these CT-based techniques, we sought to clarify the volumetric changes associated with the combined form of metopic and sagittal craniosynostosis versus isolated sagittal synostosis and compare these to each other as well as to values obtained in specific age- and sex-matched controls, who were evaluated using the same methods at the same institution.

Methods

Patient Population

Between November 1998 and October 2006, 77 consecutive children with previously untreated sagittal synostosis underwent whole-vault cranioplasty at Yale–New Haven Hospital. These children presented with scaphocephaly and a palpable ridge along the sagittal plane. Preoperative CT scans were obtained to confirm the diagnosis of sagittal craniosynostosis and determine the patency of other calvarial sutures. Fifty-three patients (15 female, 38 male) had pre- and postoperative CT scans available for review.

Based on both radiographic data (omega sign present in the metopic area) and direct observation at the time of surgery, a subset of these patients was identified as having concurrent metopic and sagittal synostosis. Because the metopic suture normally closes at approximately 9 months of age, only patients who were 9 months of age or younger were included in this study.

After applying these criteria, 16 patients (7 female, 9 male) with combined metopic and sagittal synostosis (the M/S group), and 19 (5 female, 14 male) with sagittal synostosis alone (the S group), were included in the analysis. Additionally, data from age- and sex-matched controls (39 children) from the same institution, were compared with these groups; the control data had been obtained using the same data acquisition methodology as was used in the synostosis cases. Available data included preoperative ICV, BTV, CSF space, and VV. Data were analyzed using a combination of R (www.R-project.org) and Microsoft Excel software. The research protocol was approved by the Human Investigation Committee at Yale University School of Medicine.

Computed Tomography and Volume Measurement

All patients underwent axial CT scanning on a Light-speed-16 CT scanner (General Electric) with a 3-mm pitch and slice thickness at Yale–New Haven Hospital. Some patients underwent CT scanning at a higher resolution preoperatively with a 1.25-mm pitch and slice thickness. Volume determination was based on measuring the area in each CT section.

The ImageJ software package, downloaded from the Internet (National Institutes of Health, http://rsb.info.nih.gov/ij/download.html) was used to measure the CT image. The ImageJ software read the CT data and calibrated the images automatically. The threshold was set at the intensity that corresponded to the interface between brain tissue and the signal void caused by the dense bone of the inner table of the cranium. The software outlined the bone inner cortex contour in each slice at the specified soft-tissue–bone threshold automatically. Also, it provided tools for selecting and editing the contours. Manual editing was used to define the intracranial border where the automatic threshold was questionable. The CT slices were processed individually for volume measurement to obtain the area of intersection of the region of interest with each slice. The volume of the intracranial cavity was measured by S.S.L. on a slice-by-slice basis. Results of measurements were copied into Excel (Microsoft Corp.). The ICVs were calculated at the end of each slice by multiplying the cumulative area by the CT scan thickness (for example, 3 or 1.25 mm). The accuracy and reliability of this measurement paradigm have been shown previously by Posnick et al.12

To measure the CSF space and VV, we used the tools of ImageJ to convert the CT image into a black/white mode, then adjusted the threshold of the system to allow black color to just fully fill the ventricle space. The threshold number for each different CT series was recorded. The rater used the tools of the ImageJ system to define the appropriate area for measurement. Again, CT slices were processed individually for measuring the area of intersection of the region of interest\ with each slice. The CSF space volumes and VVs were calculated at the end of each slice by multiplying the cumulative area by the CT scan thickness. Finally, these measurement results were put into Excel to record for further analysis of the CSF space or VV. The BTV was calculated by subtracting the CSF space volume from the ICV.

The reliability and accuracy of these measurements were tested. We randomly selected 15 T series to check the interrater error (accuracy). The interrater error between 2 was on average 0.755% ± 0.65% (range 0.1%–2.47%). Seven T series were remeasured 1 week later to check for intrarater error. The intrarater error was on average 0.77% ± 0.46% (range 0.15%–1.45%).

Results

Data were available for analysis from 19 patients with sagittal craniosynostosis (S group: 5 girls and 14 boys), 16 patients with combined metopic and sagittal synostosis (M/S group: 7 girls and 9 boys), and 39 unaffected infants (controls: 16 girls and 23 boys) under the age of 9 months. Data acquired included preoperative ICV, BTV, CSF space, and VV. Data were analyzed using a combination of R, JMP (SAS Institute, Inc.), and Excel software.

Preoperative ICV

A 1-way ANOVA was conducted to compare the preoperative ICV of the patients in the S group with that of the patients in the M/S group. The results of this initial test were significant (p = 0.029), and the differences between the 3 groups (S, M/S, and control) were then explored using the Tukey HSD test. This subsequent step showed a trend for both the S and M/S groups to have, on average, smaller preoperative ICV than controls (p = 0.086, p = 0.065, respectively).

A multiple linear regression model was applied, and sex and age were both found to be important influences on ICV (p = 0.001 for sex, p < 0.0001 for age). The groups were subdivided to account for both age and sex (Table 1). In this case, a 1-way ANOVA demonstrated a statistically significant difference only for females between 4.5 and 9 months of age (p = 0.0165). The Tukey HSD test revealed that the preoperative ICV for the female patients in the M/S group was, on average, smaller than that of controls (p = 0.022). The preoperative ICV for the female patients in the M/S group also demonstrated a trend toward being smaller than that of their S group counterparts (p = 0.065). No differences were found between the S and control groups in this case (female infants between 4.5 and 9 months of age, p = 0.682).

TABLE 1:

Intracranial volume in different age subgroups*

CharacteristicsS GroupM/S GroupControls
≤4.5 mos of age at CT
 male
  ICV (cm3)724.7 ± 107.8687.6 ± 75.2736.238 ± 96.8
  no. of CT scans1248
 female
  ICV (cm3)718.9 ± 94.2591.0 ± 95.5681.350 ± 81.1
  no. of CT scans438
 total
  ICV (cm3)723.2 ± 101.5646.2 ± 92.4708.8 ± 90.8
  no. of CT scans16716
4.5–9 mos of age at CT
 male
  ICV (cm3)922.2 ± 128.7899.0 ± 67.4980.0 ± 112.2
  no. of CT scans2515
 female
  ICV (cm3)947.3686.0 ± 51.5865.652 ± 103.03
  no. of CT scans148
 total
  ICV (cm3)930.6 ± 92.1821.5 ± 140.7940.2 ± 120.4
  no. of CT scans3923
* Data are presented as mean values (± SD) unless otherwise indicated.

Preoperative BTV

A similar analysis was conducted to compare the preoperative BTV of the S, M/S, and control groups (summarized in Table 2). In this case, the results of a 1-way ANOVA considering all patients, regardless of age or sex, were statistically significant (p = 0.007). The Tukey HSD test showed that BTV was significantly smaller in both the M/S and the S groups than in the controls regardless of age or sex (p = 0.031 and p = 0.022, respectively). However, no significant differences could be determined between the M/S and S groups (p = 0.997).

TABLE 2:

Brain tissue volume in different age subgroups

CharacteristicsS GroupM/S GroupControls
≤4.5 mos of age at CT
 male
  BTV (cm3)669.8 ± 101.0616.3 ± 52.9710.9 ± 89.6
  no. of CT scans1248
 female
  BTV (cm3)636.5 ± 61.8529.8 ± 75.1640.5 ± 75.0
  no. of CT scans3*38
 total
  BTV (cm3)663.2 ± 93.5579.2 ± 73.6675.7 ± 87.7
  no. of CT scans15*716
4.5–9 mos of age at CT
 male
  BTV (cm3)819.0882.1 ± 92.9930.1 ± 109.6
  no. of CT scans1*514*
 female
  BTV (cm3)910.2652.0 ± 52.7825.9 ± 121.7
  no. of CT scans148
 total
  BTV (cm3)864.6 ± 64.5776.9 ± 139.3892.2 ± 122.5
  no. of CT scans2*922*
* Data were missing for some patients in this subgroup, and thus the total number of CT scans is smaller than the number presented in Table 1, in which all patients were included.

When considering male infants alone in both groups, the results of a 1-way ANOVA remained statistically significant (p = 0.004). In male infants, we still observed that the BTV for the S group was, on average, smaller than that of controls (p = 0.003). However, in this case, no statistically significant differences between the M/S and control groups (p = 0.243), or the M/S and S groups (p = 0.387), were observed. When considering female infants alone, the significance was reduced, although a 1-way ANOVA still demonstrated a trend toward significance (p = 0.088). In this case, there was a trend for the BTV of females in the M/S group to be smaller than that of controls (p = 0.073). No statistically significant differences could be found between the S and control groups (p = 0.917) or the M/S and S groups (p = 0.399).

In terms of age, when considering patients 4.5 months old or younger, a 1-way ANOVA demonstrated a trend toward significance (p = 0.058), and the Tukey HSD test showed a trend for the infants in the M/S group to have a smaller BTV than controls (p = 0.053). Differences between the S group and controls and between the M/S and S groups in this age category could not be established (p = 0.917 and p = 0.107, respectively). When considering patients between 4.5 and 9 months of age, we obtained similar results (ANOVA, p = 0.084). The M/S group demonstrated a trend toward a smaller BTV on average than controls (p = 0.069), while no statistically significant differences could be found between the S and control groups (p = 0.953), or between the M/S and S groups (p = 0.649).

The groups were once again further subdivided to account for age and sex. Focusing on female patients older than 4.5 months of age, the results of a 1-way ANOVA comparing the M/S, S, and control groups were statistically significant (p = 0.042). The Tukey HSD test revealed a trend for the BTV of female infants in the M/S group to be, on average, smaller than that of controls in this age group (trend toward significance, p = 0.055); there were no statistically significant differences between the M/S and S groups.

Ventricular Volume and CSF Space

In terms of VV, when all patients were considered, a 1-way ANOVA yielded no significant results (p = 0.232). When only infants 4.5 months of age or younger were considered (regardless of sex), the results of a 1-way ANOVA were significant (p = 0.032), and the Tukey HSD test revealed that the VV of patients in the S group was, on average, larger than that of unaffected controls (p = 0.026); no statistically significant differences could be found between controls and the M/S group (p = 0.262) or between the S and M/S groups (p = 0.800). Ventricular volumes for the different age and sex subgroups are summarized in Table 3.

TABLE 3:

Ventricular volume in different age subgroups

CharacteristicsS GroupM/S GroupControls
≤4.5 mos of age at CT
 male
  VV (cm3)9.78 ± 5.2110.7 ± 8.664.55 ± 3.11
  no. of CT scans1246*
 female
  VV (cm3)8.95 ± 2.254.90 ± 2.044.77 ± 3.03
  no. of CT scans436*
 total
  VV (cm3)9.57 ± 4.598.21 ± 6.964.66 ± 2.93
  no. of CT scans16712*
4.5–9 mos of age at CT
 male
  VV (cm3)10.15 ± 5.7311.1 ± 9.949.74 ± 8.51
  no. of CT scans257*
 female
  VV (cm3)12.36.10 ± 2.167.63 ± 4.75
  no. of CT scans146*
 total
  VV (cm3)10.87 ± 4.248.88 ± 7.628.77 ± 6.84
  no. of CT scans3913*
* Data were missing for some patients in this subgroup.

In terms of CSF space overall, when infants 4.5 months of age or younger were considered, once again, the results of a 1-way ANOVA were significant (p = 0.001). This time, the Tukey HSD test revealed that the CSF volume of patients with combined metopic and sagittal synostosis in this age group was larger than that of controls (p = 0.002), and that the CSF volume of patients with isolated sagittal synostosis was also larger than that of controls on average (p = 0.015). No statistically significant differences could be found between the M/S and S groups in this category (p = 0.320). Table 4 presents a summary of the CSF space averages for all age and sex subgroups.

TABLE 4:

Cerebrospinal fluid space in different age subgroups

CharacteristicsS GroupM/S GroupControls
≤4.5 mos of age at CT
 male
  CSF (cm3)54.88 ± 23.0171.28 ± 38.6425.34 ± 15.03
  no. of CT scans1248
 female
  CSF (cm3)44.35 ± 5.3261.27 ± 23.4132.81 ± 23.79
  no. of CT scans438
 total
  CSF (cm3)52.24 ± 20.4066.99 ± 30.9529.07 ± 19.61
  no. of CT scans16716
4.5–9 mos of age at CT
 male
  CSF (cm3)12.2053.16 ± 39.5054.27 ± 46.79
  no. of CT scans1*514*
 female
  CSF (cm3)37.1033.95 ± 21.1239.75 ± 35.33
  no. of CT scans148
 total
  CSF (cm3)24.65 ± 17.6144.62 ± 32.4048.99 ± 42.69
  no. of CT scans2*922*
* Data were missing for some patients in this subgroup.

Discussion

Van der Meulen et al.14 reported an increase in prevalence of metopic craniosynostosis between 1997 and 2006; although no clear explanation was provided for these findings, the authors also noted an increasing number of cases of combined metopic and sagittal craniosynostosis. This trend is particularly concerning as multisuture craniosynostosis has been shown to be associated with more negative neurological sequelae than single-suture synostosis (that is, unilateral vs bilateral coronal synostosis).13 Renier et al.5 concluded that intracranial pressure was increased in proportion to the number of involved sutures. Additionally, the prevalence of learning disabilities is noted to be increased in those with metopic or sagittal craniosynostosis compared with the general public (Magge SN, unpublished data, 2002).10 Subsequently, Becker et al.2 found that 57% of patients with nonsyndromic metopic craniosynostosis presented with speech, cognitive, or behavioral abnormalities, confirming the findings of earlier studies in which 39% of patients with nonsyndromic sagittal craniosynostosis had similar learning dysfunction.

In this study, we evaluated only infants ranging in age from newborn to 9 months, as this is the time of normal physiological metopic fusion. We were especially interested in those measures of ICV, BTV, VV, and CSF space. A previous study by Lee et al.9 showed that there is expanded skull and brain volume in patients with sagittal synostosis preoperatively, and increased or normal ICV in younger patients (7–12 months of age). As the patients grew (to > 30 months of age), their ICV increased but BTV decreased compared with normal controls.

In terms of ICV, this study shows a trend toward an initial smaller ICV in patients with isolated sagittal synostosis (the S group) as well as in those with combined metopic and sagittal synostosis (the M/S group) compared with nonaffected controls. This pattern was statistically significant in female infants older than 4.5 months of age with combined metopic and sagittal synostosis. Of note, we found a trend toward smaller ICV in patients with combined metopic and sagittal synostosis than in those with isolated sagittal synostosis in the group between 4.5 and 9 months of age. This is important, as this trend does not exist in the younger age group, perhaps indicating that as these infants develop, their ICV becomes further reduced. This differs from previous work done by Lee et al.:9 even when the S and M/S groups were combined into one, we found that the combined group had a smaller ICV than controls (p = 0.05). This contrast is due to the difference between the 2 studies in the subdivision of age groups: Lee et al. noted increased ICV in patients 7–12 months of age. Because we were interested in looking at the S and M/S groups independently, we only included infants up to 9 months of age in our analysis. Our grouping of patients between 4.5 and 9 months of age resulted in a subgroup of patients in which ICV tends to be smaller than that of controls. It is likely that the results found by Lee et al. are most applicable to the older infants in their 7- to 12-month-old group. It is also important to consider the notion of global volume versus regional compression. Although in some age groups, the overall ICV is increased, with craniosynostosis, there is concern over regional compression because the fused suture restricts growth perpendicular to it.

We also considered VV and CSF space. Here, we found that patients in the S group initially had significantly larger VVs than controls. Also, the CSF space was larger in both subject groups compared with controls, especially in the younger age group.

When considering the constellation of findings here—decreased BTV and ICV with increased VV and CSF space—a pattern similar to hydrocephalus is noted. External hydrocephalus has a relatively subtle clinical course characterized by an isolated increase in subarachnoid space and intracranial pressure often associated with macrocephaly.1 Although we did not record intracranial pressure, it is important to note the similarities here, indicating that there may be some impact of craniosynostosis on CSF absorption.

Additionally, we considered BTV in the S and M/S groups compared with nonaffected controls. We found that in both synostosis groups, the BTV was significantly smaller than in the control group. As above, it is important to consider that brain mass is reduced in both synostosis groups, a finding that is apparent even in the younger infants, perhaps indicating an important component of cognitive maldevelopment in children with sagittal synostosis.

The relationship between decreased ICV and smaller brain mass in those infants with isolated sagittal synostosis or combined metopic and sagittal synostosis is especially concerning in light of the documented effects on neurodevelopment. A more comprehensive surgical approach also may be more prudent as it has the capability of immediately correcting the skull constraint on brain growth. This is especially true for patients with combined metopic and sagittal synostosis, as a trend was noted for an even smaller ICV than in patients with isolated synostosis counterparts. A number of reports have presented the utility of early surgery, whether in reference to skull shape and growth or neurodevelopment.11 That reduced ICV is more apparent in the older age group (4.5–9 months of age) may be more evidence that surgery at a younger age may prevent later negative neurocognitive sequelae. Our study suggests that 4.5 months of age is a particularly important cut-off point, after which we begin to see some differences between affected infants and controls. Though it is tempting to recommend surgery specifically prior to 4.5 months of age, follow-up studies with larger samples should be undertaken before such a specific recommendation is given. In summary, there is mounting evidence that craniosynostosis has important effects not only on skull growth, but also on brain growth and development. These trends were noted in all parameters examined, including ICV, BTV, VV, and CSF space. Although in several parameters the combined form of craniosynostosis did not differ significantly from the isolated sagittal form, the trend toward a difference in ICV, and importantly BTV, may indicate an important process at play, which is worth examining further. One important note is that the analysis in this study is not a functional test, but rather a volumetric one. As effects on neurodevelopment are subtle learning disabilities, it is not surprising that marked changes in brain volume are not seen in this study. The marginal difficulties are not likely to be associated with major visible structural brain damage. Further research considering neurocognitive assessment and comparison of patients with isolated sagittal synostosis and those with combined metopic and sagittal synostosis would be beneficial.

Conclusions

This study shows a trend toward smaller ICV in patients with isolated sagittal synostosis as well as those with combined metopic and sagittal synostosis compared with nonaffected controls, a pattern which is significant in female patients with combined metopic and sagittal synostosis who are older than 4.5 months of age. Also, there was a trend toward a smaller ICV in the M/S group as compared with the S group. Furthermore, the BTV of both groups was significantly smaller than that of controls. Additionally, in patients younger than 4.5 months of age, the VV (for patients in the S group) and CSF space (for patients in the S group and those in the M/S group) were noted to be larger than in controls. That not all measures show significance, but rather trends, is consistent with findings that these patients do not have gross developmental delay. We emphasize that the effects on brain growth and development are subtle, and thus more subtle learning disabilities will reflect this fact.

Is the combination of metopic and sagittal synostosis worse than the presence of sagittal craniosynostosis alone? A recent study by Domeshek et al.4 found that, although there were morphological differences between isolated sagittal synostosis and combined metopic and sagittal synostosis, these differences were not statistically significant. Despite this and our small sample size, we did find some trends indicating that combined metopic and sagittal synostosis may indeed be worse than sagittal synostosis alone, at least for some subgroups. It is important to note that the major influence, it seems, continues to be the sagittal suture. This observation is compatible with findings of previous work, given that the metopic suture fusion is not expected to have as much an influence on volume, as it has an earlier closure, and there is potential for accommodation elsewhere. Still, in the present study, patients in both the S and M/S groups had smaller volumes than unaffected controls, and this restriction may be enough to affect brain growth.

Disclosure

The authors report no conflict of interest concerning the materials or methods used in this study or the findings specified in this paper.

Author contributions to the study and manuscript preparation include the following. Conception and design: Persing, Terner, Travieso, Lee. Acquisition of data: Lee. Analysis and interpretation of data: Persing, Terner, Travieso, Forte, Patel. Drafting the article: Persing, Terner, Travieso, Forte, Patel. Critically revising the article: Persing, Terner, Travieso, Forte, Patel. Reviewed submitted version of manuscript: all authors. Approved the final version of the manuscript on behalf of all authors: Persing. Statistical analysis: Terner, Travieso. Study supervision: Persing.

References

  • 1

    Alvarez LAMaytal JShinnar S: Idiopathic external hydrocephalus: natural history and relationship to benign familial macrocephaly. Pediatrics 77:9019071986

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2

    Becker DBPetersen JDKane AACradock MMPilgram TKMarsh JL: Speech, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes in nonsyndromic craniosynostosis. Plast Reconstr Surg 116:4004072005

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3

    Boop FAShewmake KChadduck WM: Synostectomy versus complex cranioplasty for the treatment of sagittal synostosis. Childs Nerv Syst 12:3713751996

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4

    Domeshek LFDas RRVan Aalst JAMukundan S JrMarcus JR: Influence of metopic suture fusion associated with sagittal synostosis. J Craniofac Surg 22:77832011

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5

    Gault DTRenier DMarchac DJones BM: Intracranial pres sure and intracranial volume in children with craniosynostosis. Plast Reconstr Surg 90:3773811992

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6

    Guimarães-Ferreira JGewalli FDavid LOlsson RFriede HLauritzen CG: Clinical outcome of the modified pi-plasty procedure for sagittal synostosis. J Craniofac Surg 12:2182262001

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7

    Hill CVaddi SMoffitt AKane AMarsh JPanchal J: Intracranial volume and whole brain volume in infants with unicoronal craniosynostosis. Cleft Palate Craniofac J [epub ahead of print]2010

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8

    Jimenez DFBarone CMCartwright CCBaker L: Early management of craniosynostosis using endoscopic-assisted strip craniectomies and cranial orthotic molding therapy. Pediatrics 110:971042002

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9

    Lee SSDuncan CCKnoll BIPersing JA: Intracranial compartment volume changes in sagittal craniosynostosis patients: influence of comprehensive cranioplasty. Plast Reconstr Surg 126:1871962010

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10

    Magge SNWesterveld MPruzinsky TPersing JA: Longterm neuropsychological effects of sagittal craniosynostosis on child development. J Craniofac Surg 13:991042002

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11

    McCarthy JGGlasberg SBCutting CBEpstein FJGrayson BHRuff G: Twenty-year experience with early surgery for craniosynostosis: I. Isolated craniofacial synostosis—results and unsolved problems. Plast Reconstr Surg 96:2722831995

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12

    Posnick JCArmstrong DBite U: Metopic and sagittal synostosis: intracranial volume measurements prior to and after cranio-orbital reshaping in childhood. Plast Reconstr Surg 96:2993151995

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13

    Renier DSainte-Rose CMarchac DHirsch JF: Intracranial pressure in craniostenosis. J Neurosurg 57:3703771982

  • 14

    van der Meulen Jvan der Hulst Rvan Adrichem LArnaud EChin-Shong DDuncan C: The increase of metopic synostosis: a pan-European observation. J Craniofac Surg 20:2832862009

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

Article Information

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to: John A. Persing, M.D., Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, Yale Physicians Building, 800 Howard Avenue, 2nd Floor, New Haven, Connecticut 06519. email: john.persing@yale.edu.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

Headings
Figures
  • View in gallery

    A–C: Frontal (A), lateral (B), and birds-eye (C) views of a patient with isolated sagittal craniosynostosis showing prominent frontal bossing and scaphocephaly with superimposed deformational plagiocephaly. D and E: Frontal (D) and lateral (E) views of a patient with combined sagittal and metopic craniosynostosis showing a deceivingly less severe–appearing deformity.

References
  • 1

    Alvarez LAMaytal JShinnar S: Idiopathic external hydrocephalus: natural history and relationship to benign familial macrocephaly. Pediatrics 77:9019071986

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2

    Becker DBPetersen JDKane AACradock MMPilgram TKMarsh JL: Speech, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes in nonsyndromic craniosynostosis. Plast Reconstr Surg 116:4004072005

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3

    Boop FAShewmake KChadduck WM: Synostectomy versus complex cranioplasty for the treatment of sagittal synostosis. Childs Nerv Syst 12:3713751996

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4

    Domeshek LFDas RRVan Aalst JAMukundan S JrMarcus JR: Influence of metopic suture fusion associated with sagittal synostosis. J Craniofac Surg 22:77832011

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5

    Gault DTRenier DMarchac DJones BM: Intracranial pres sure and intracranial volume in children with craniosynostosis. Plast Reconstr Surg 90:3773811992

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6

    Guimarães-Ferreira JGewalli FDavid LOlsson RFriede HLauritzen CG: Clinical outcome of the modified pi-plasty procedure for sagittal synostosis. J Craniofac Surg 12:2182262001

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7

    Hill CVaddi SMoffitt AKane AMarsh JPanchal J: Intracranial volume and whole brain volume in infants with unicoronal craniosynostosis. Cleft Palate Craniofac J [epub ahead of print]2010

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8

    Jimenez DFBarone CMCartwright CCBaker L: Early management of craniosynostosis using endoscopic-assisted strip craniectomies and cranial orthotic molding therapy. Pediatrics 110:971042002

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9

    Lee SSDuncan CCKnoll BIPersing JA: Intracranial compartment volume changes in sagittal craniosynostosis patients: influence of comprehensive cranioplasty. Plast Reconstr Surg 126:1871962010

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10

    Magge SNWesterveld MPruzinsky TPersing JA: Longterm neuropsychological effects of sagittal craniosynostosis on child development. J Craniofac Surg 13:991042002

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11

    McCarthy JGGlasberg SBCutting CBEpstein FJGrayson BHRuff G: Twenty-year experience with early surgery for craniosynostosis: I. Isolated craniofacial synostosis—results and unsolved problems. Plast Reconstr Surg 96:2722831995

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12

    Posnick JCArmstrong DBite U: Metopic and sagittal synostosis: intracranial volume measurements prior to and after cranio-orbital reshaping in childhood. Plast Reconstr Surg 96:2993151995

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13

    Renier DSainte-Rose CMarchac DHirsch JF: Intracranial pressure in craniostenosis. J Neurosurg 57:3703771982

  • 14

    van der Meulen Jvan der Hulst Rvan Adrichem LArnaud EChin-Shong DDuncan C: The increase of metopic synostosis: a pan-European observation. J Craniofac Surg 20:2832862009

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
TrendMD
Metrics

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 151 151 16
PDF Downloads 718 718 84
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0
PubMed
Google Scholar