Erlend Aambø Langvatn, Radek Frič, Bernt J. Due-Tønnessen and Per Kristian Eide
Reduced intracranial volume (ICV) and raised intracranial pressure (ICP) are assumed to be principal pathophysiological mechanisms in childhood craniosynostosis. This study examined the association between ICV and ICP and whether ICV can be used to estimate the ICP.
The authors analyzed ICV and ICP measurements from children with craniosynostosis without concurrent hydrocephalus and from age-matched individuals without craniosynostosis who underwent diagnostic ICP measurement.
The study included 19 children with craniosynostosis (mean age 2.2 ± 1.9 years) and 12 reference individuals without craniosynostosis (mean age 2.5 ± 1.6 years). There was no difference in ICV between the patient and reference cohorts. Both mean ICP (17.1 ± 5.6 mm Hg) and mean wave amplitude (5.9 ± 2.6 mm Hg) were higher in the patient cohort. The results disclosed no significant association between ICV and ICP values in the patient or reference cohorts, and no association was seen between change in ICV and ICP values after cranial vault expansion surgery (CVES) in 5 children in whom ICV and ICP were measured before and after CVES.
In this cohort of children with craniosynostosis, there was no significant association between ICV and ICP values prior to CVES and no significant association between change in ICV and ICP values after CVES in a subset of patients. Therefore, ICV could not reliably estimate the ICP values. The authors suggest that intracranial hypertension in childhood craniosynostosis may not be caused by reduced ICV alone but rather by a distorted relationship between ICV and the volume of intracranial content (brain tissue, CSF, and blood).
Elin Tønne, Bernt J. Due-Tønnessen, Ulrikke Wiig, Barbro F. Stadheim, Torstein R. Meling, Eirik Helseth and Ketil R. Heimdal
The authors present population-based epidemiological data for craniosynostosis regarding incidence, age at diagnosis, sex differences, and frequency of syndromic and familial cases.
The prospective registry of the Norwegian National Unit for Craniofacial Surgery was used to retrieve data on all individuals with craniosynostosis treated between 2003 and 2017. The cohort was divided into three 5-year groups based on year of birth: 2003–2007, 2008–2012, and 2013–2017.
The authors identified 386 individuals with craniosynostosis. Of these, 328 (85%) consented to be registered with further information. The incidence increased significantly during the study period and was 5.5 per 10,000 live births (1/1800) in the last 5-year period. The increase was seen almost exclusively in the nonsyndromic group. Syndromic craniosynostosis accounted for 27% of the cases, and the incidence remained stable throughout the three 5-year periods. Both syndromic and nonsyndromic craniosynostosis were highly suture specific. There was a male preponderance (male/female ratio 2:1), and males accounted for 75% of the individuals with midline synostosis. Overall, 9.5% were index individuals in families with more than one affected member; of these, 73% were nonsyndromic cases.
The incidence of craniosynostosis increased during the study period, and the observed incidence is among the highest reported. The authors attribute this to increasing awareness among healthcare professionals. The number of syndromic cases was high, likely due to a broader definition compared to the majority of earlier reports. The study revealed a high number of familial cases in both syndromic and nonsyndromic craniosynostosis, thus highlighting the importance of genetics as an underlying cause of craniosynostosis.